Joseph Buehler


There was a lot of fake news on the t.v. the other day and, just then,
the sprocket broke on the thing-a-ma-jig and that big stone in the
back yard fell into the well (I actually saw it happen) by the threat
of osmosis or maybe it was the baby crying at the neighbor’s house
down the street a mile or so away where the snot-nose kid lives with
the mayor’s wife (the mayor and his wife have separate residences)
or maybe with the baker’s daughter, Rachel, I think it is, or maybe
it isn’t, who knows at this point?

“That was a great ride, all right,” the minister said, adjusting his glasses.
“Do you have any of that ice cold lemonade left in that big pitcher?”

There wasn’t any left, of course, just like there weren’t any cumquats
and why that hot-under-the collar middle aged ugly guy with an ugly
mustache thought there were any cumquats (not two quats, but one)
for sale in a hardware store is anybody’s guess; though they did sell
groceries there, come to think of it, and maybe it wasn’t a hardware
store after all; but keep me out of it. I’m really only interested in the
possibility of any orange groves for sale in California at this point in

                                             Little Nell

Little Nell, hiding behind the bookcase. Not little Nell from the country.
Who cares about her? (I’m missing the Robert Redford-Brad Pitt movie---
something about spies.) Then there’s Dora in Chicago, out of quarters
again for the washers and dryers. ( The Chicago Museum Of Science And
Industry.) Who speaks for the Indian? (Singular not plural.) I do, says
John Wayne, even though I’ve knocked off a good many of ‘em in my day,
but those were only blanks. Good heavens!, exclaimed Aunt Pitty-Pat.
Look what time it is! It’s nearly ten! I’ve got to get my beauty sleep! Oh!
The Yankees! The Yankees! (Me and Roberto down by the schoolyard.)
The tentative and ultimately beautiful acting of Geraldine Page in The Trip
To Bountiful and her other films. Horton Foote for Bountiful. William Inge
for Bus Stop. M.M., luminous. Gone, gone. Now you see them, now you

don’t. Silent movies, step right up, ladies and gentlemen! No, you don’t
have to remove your hats unless the people behind you object, but please
remember this: you don’t rate as a gentleman if you expectorate on the floor!
Niagara Falls are straight ahead. The sign says, stop ahead get ticket. (No
dash, mind you.) Look to the road, a head! somebody said years ago on the
radio. I think it was Harry Truman. This little fella, by the way, went into
a seafood restaurant, see, and said to the waiter, Do you serve shrimps here?
Siddown buddy, the waiter replied, we serve everybody. Another restaurant:
Waiter, what’s this fly doing in my soup? I think it’s the backstroke, sir. This
old guy, see, went to his doctor’s office for an examination and the doctor told
him, I’m very sorry, John, but you only have six more months to live. But doc-
tor, John protested, this enormous bill of yours! I can’t pay this bill! O.K., the
doctor replied gravely, I’ll give you another six months. A solemn drum roll up
to a loud cymbal clash: BANG at the end.

Joseph Buehler has published poems in London in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, in Dublin in H.C.E. Review, in The Tower Journal, in ArLiJo (Arlington Literary Journal), in the Ottawa Arts Review in Canada, and in other literary magazines in the United States. He lives in Georgia with his wife Trish. They are retired.
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