Joseph Buehler


If we could carefully deposit the number nine over there on the extreme
left side of the page then we could possibly secrete the number six (which
everybody knows is the exact reverse of the number nine) on the right side
of the page which is white but could, for all intents and purposes, be any
other color with the possible exception of black. That makes sense, doesn’t
it? Or perhaps a very dark shade of brown or perhaps yellow, though yellow
is very difficult to make very dark even though I have never tried to make
yellow dark or spent much time looking here or there for a dark shade of
yellow. Why should I? But getting back to the subject of numbers, the
number thirty two has always appealed to me; I don’t exactly know why,
much more than say fifty six. Fifty six usually just stands there looking fat
and self satisfied (though I don’t know what she thinks she has that makes her
think that she is better than other numbers). One hundred and forty four, by
the way, is a very neat number—for instance you can multiply eleven by it
—but I still like thirty three the best except when she goes off into her selfish
little corner and tries to hide and won’t associate with any of the other numbers.
Ninety nine or ninety eight tried to entice her out of her corner, but she wouldn’t
budge until Caroline finally lured her out with some vanilla cake which she
subsequently spilled all over herself and made a dreadful mess. So I don’t
really have much pity for her the way she behaves. Seventy seven doesn’t either
and he’s definitely on to something there, that’s for sure.

Oh, did you hear that noise? What was that? A kind of loud sustained moaning
I think, but you hear that sound a lot around here.

Joseph Buehler is a two time finalist for the Adelaide Voices Literary Award for poetry (NYC) on February and October 2018. He has published poetry in London (Sentinel Literary Quarterly), Dublin (H.C.E. Review), Canada (Ottawa Arts Review) and mostly in the USA in The Tower Journal, ArLiJo, nine Mile Magazine, Serving House Journal and elsewhere. He lives in Georgia with his wife Trish.
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