With the spring season upon us, with all of its positive sentiments and connotations of rebirth, renewal and enlightenment, it would seem like a good time for The Rag to show a kinder, gentler side. So perhaps that’s why some of the selections in this issue focus on family life—albeit with a distinctly Rag-ish twist. Parent-child, husband-wife: these relationships are examined, twisted, and perverted until the gritty underbelly of family life is fully exposed.
This time around, you’ll find stories touching on elements of personal secrecy, human weakness, morally terrifying tests of human integrity and the id in its purest and most unbridled form—the sorts of themes and questions that truly test the limits of humanity and extract the grayer shades between human and beast. Many of the selections in the spring issue also deal with barriers to communication—fear, guilt, shame, selfishness, technology and language itself—all of these are lurking about, either at the surface or hidden in the depths.
Of course, these stories and poems can mean different things to different people. But that’s what makes good literature: depth of thought, multiple layers, with themes that are broad and subtle, rather than narrow and blunt. That’s what we look for when we select the writing we want to share with our readers, and we hope you enjoy these stories and poems as much as we do.
You can buy and download the new issue now at our store. If you’d like to preview this issue, the first story is available for preview at the Kindle store, where you can also purchase the magazine, or you can download a PDF preview here. Reviews on Amazon are greatly appreciated.
Lily by Jonathan Vatner
How ‘Bout it Mr. Twain by Nancy Hill
That Thing with the Dog by Ben Schwartz
Sweatpants by Ben Cornell
Pseudonymous by Tony Zito
The Final Reel by Rachel S. Thomas-Medwid
Silence by Isaac Savage
In-World by Joel Higgins
The Story of a Cold Bud by Olatundji Akpo-Sani
le salamander by Matt Forever
pa pa power by Dan Guerra
Aperture by Kalyna Leigh
Featuring art from Tim Jarosz and Lauren Kolesinskas. Cover art by Alex Eckman-Lawn