November 7-13, 2022: Poetry from Brian Builta and Ruth Chad

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Brian Builta

Brian Builta lives in Arlington, Texas, and works at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. His work has been recently published or is forthcoming in Jabberwock Review, Juke Joint Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal, New Ohio Review and TriQuarterly.

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Brian Builta and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Life as a Duck

Naked and handcuffed to the brothel
Chris didn’t make a great candidate.
Strange brothers we fill our faith with.

When I woke up toilet-papered with a starfish
duct-taped to my left hand, business
seemed like a silly major.

Cyril attended mass that morning.
I kept mopping the dining room floor
with dirty astronaut pisstube water.

What I loved about Ernest was how a fifth
of Wild Turkey made him four-fifths happy.
Someone had to live simple as a stone.

Of course he died after he was fired.
We spent weeks burning cedar in a barrel.
Juniper smoke seemed important in the dark.

When they threw me through the plate glass window
it did not feel like a breakthrough.
Ernest said Tiger Balm would heal everything.

When the stripper sat down to cry,
leaning her sweaty head on my shoulder,
I knew it was time to head north again.

Ruth Chad

Ruth Chad is a psychologist who lives and works in the Boston area.  Her poems have appeared in the Aurorean, Bagels with the Bards, Connection, Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Institute of New England, Constellations, Ibbetson Street, Montreal Poems, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lily Poetry Review, Amethyst Poetry Review and several others. Her chapbook, The Sound of Angels was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2017. Ruth was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2021.

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Ruth Chad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

On Rio Grande Beach After My Mother’s Death

We are tilting into the wind
my shadow and my mother’s merged

Driftwood petrified     gleaming white
in withering light

A lightning crab
dead on the sand

A deposit of whelk
picked through by ibis

What am I searching for?
My mother is in me

I raise my voice to the wind
I can speak     but she can’t hear


~


The crimson-lipped leaves
of a sea grape     opening into briny morning

My mother’s glow
in the sheen of an iridescent shell

A red salamander     bright black spots lining its back
would have made my mother laugh

We are tilting into the wind
my shadow and my mother’s merged

A long stick of bamboo     rotting
wound around with foam and kelp

The molted skin
of a snake

A sea star     dead
yet the flesh seems so alive

 

My mother’s smile in the curve
of a clam’s mouth

We are tilting into the wind
my shadow lengthening     my mother’s     gone

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

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