March 2024 - To Stir the Sun and Dust

Cover art by Ron Walker
Cover art by Ron Walker

Welcome to the second issue of Dog Throat Journal. Once more, we have a lovely variety of work from around the world. This issue includes work from: Brad Rose, Erin Jamieson, John C. Mannone, Nick Young, Oleg Volkov, Pamelyn Casto, Patricia Hope, Peter Cashorali, Robin Shepard, Sarah Rohrs, Trilety Wade, and William V. Ray.

Plus, in a special and beautiful visual appearance, we have cover art by Ron Walker.

Issue title by Sarah Rohrs

From The Editor

by Victor D Sandiego

Welcome! to the second issue of Dog Throat Journal. As with any new project, there’s been some ups and downs (such a server outage a couple of weeks ago), but overall things have been running smoothly, and I’m pleased by the quality of responses we’ve had to our calls for submissions.

Some of the authors in this issue are familiar to me; others are new to me. All bring a wonderful range of writing.

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by Patricia Hope

Let my spirit sleep among the pointed tops of the hemlock, hear the sigh of the tulip trees’ gilded leaves as they glide by me, feel the wind lift my hair as I adjust to my newfound freedom, hear the call of the owl on the ridge, the clucking of fowl feeding along the fencerow, as I watch the stars spot the velvet sky, wrestle with a moonbeam as it spills through the night searching...

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The Room

by William V. Ray

The room is inside me. The door opens every Fall. It's Fall when a guitar climbing a wall has more meaning than in summer. What’s raucous in summer, damning in winter, in fall is the cool surface...

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Night Sight

by Pamelyn Casto

Another leaden moonstruck night sprawls its sickly illumination--where all visibilities seem escapees from a far and lunatic borderland. Under the eaves, dull by a dim street light, spiders scuttle on crooked legs weaving shrouds for blunderers who supply juice for nocturnal rites. A restless cat...

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Time is Looped

by Oleg Volkov

You’ll start boozing, partying, mainlining ketamine, and popping pills in damp basements filled with pale sweaty bodies as a teen, transgressing against every rule in the good book. Stealing from friends and family might be the only vice you won’t partake in, as you’re relatively rich. Unless your mommy squanders all the family wealth, leaving you penniless. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s meaningless.

You’ll try to justify every sin, every stranger blown, every drug taken, every person you screw over as emanations of childhood trauma. Your therapist...

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by Brad Rose

You know, that way of talking to yourself that can be dangerous. The way a blade is sharp or a pistol’s loaded. Since the last eviction, I don’t own any furniture. I don’t have...

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The Trade-Off

by Peter Cashorali

Every couple of days I go to the edge of the property where the forest begins and on a big stone leave one or two items from the house. Simple things—a dry ball point pen, a key to nothing anymore, a dead battery. In exchange I find things left for me that I don’t understand but feel, the way you feel the horizon open its arms when you come out of a mountain pass, or...

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As If

by Erin Jamieson

I drive past lonely homes with peeling paint and dogs that howl under an inky canvas of glittering stars. Past the dinky motel advertising a free pancake breakfast, past the abandoned playground with rusting swings, past the bungalow I once called home. This is where I pause, headlights painting the splintered wooden porch...

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Are You Receiving Me?

by Robin Shepard

I must’ve missed the memo. The one with the evacuation routes. How am I going to get out of here alive? I’m usually the last to know, anyway. I watch the clock for clues, but my hands keep spinning backwards. It’s like seeing your life in reverse. Oh, what I wouldn’t give...

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Witnesses at the Ocean

by Sarah Rohrs

Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. - Mahatma Gandhi

The witnesses came forward flecked with bits of dirt, holding sheets of paper scrawled with words like something that might make up a prayer wheel. Coraline saw the homeless woman give birth on the sidewalk, and the paramedics come and take the bloodied bundle away....

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Glaciers are the Gaolers of Floods

by Trilety Wade

My official diagnosis came two years ago. But I’ve suffered from cyborg syndrome since the age of eight when the conifers couldn’t protect me from the violence of mothering. The difference between being mothered and being smothered is the difference between Mamas’ Boys and Frozen Men.

“What if you had a mother who loved you instead of. . . suffocated you?” a question my third girlfriend asked two days before I broke up...

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by John C. Mannone

October 8, 1871

The word of the day is conflagration where the speed of the flame front is subsonic // unlike a detonation where it’s supersonic, as in a fiery explosion // distributing words of blame at faster than Mach one—gossip accelerates faster than any accelerant-to-a-flame can // The word of the day is conflagration as in the large disastrous fire...

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by Nick Young

She couldn’t know—how could she?

She was but five, so she couldn’t know that the ancient figure across the room was anything but stooped by the weight of time. She couldn’t know that once that woman with brittle skin etched by life’s toil was as full of joy as she, reveling in the summer sun as she ran, laughing, through the dazzling wildflowers sprinkled up the slope of the low hillside that rose toward a patch of thick timber behind the faded brick farmhouse....

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