Describing Myself, Post-Divorce, to Tinder

Erick Piller

Will endanger myself and everyone around me to avoid hitting a squirrel.

Recently divorced and moving in early August, so not in the best position for anything too serious.

Inventor of the elidoscope, discoverer of the éclatypus.

Six or so years ago I made some French friends and visited France, and they took me to see a bunch of castles. At one castle I finally got a little tired of all the sightseeing and climbed a tree on the castle grounds and for a time couldn’t make my way back down. At one point I just gave up and hung out on one of the branches for a while. A group of European tourists stopped looking at the castle and started looking at me. Some took photos. That was the last castle. I’m better than that now.

5’11”.

Haunted by ghosts of high school selves past.

I don’t know why I’m here. 

My greatest ambition: form a band, call it Darth Brooks, base the cover art of every album on the cover art of the corresponding Garth Brooks album … 

I’ve been both in a car that’s caught on fire and on a plane that’s caught on fire.

Anyone up for boating?

If I’m thirty-five and I transform into a dog, do I become a five-year-old dog or a thirty-five-year-old dog? 

Construction workers whistle at me when I take my dog for a walk. 

When I say I don’t know why I’m here, I mean I’m literally humbled and mystified and shocked and (yes) broken by the sequence of events that brought me here, to this place in my life.

Many thanks to the person who briefly matched with me to explain that this isn’t a confessional, it’s a space for “marketing” myself.

My musical tastes are eclectic, varying from early Bob Dylan to late Bob Dylan.

Once I was in the New York Times because my phone alarm didn’t go off.

Yesterday at a Catholic wedding mass there was a ferret on a stained-glass panel to my left captioned “Chaste Guardian of the Virgin.”

Neither lonely nor crushed by the world’s awful weight.

If I become a gossip columnist, my pen name will be Varsity Snake.

My mother staged my birth.


The Outer Life

Erick Piller

It was the time of the flood. Everything was glass 
or slowly, inevitably slipping into glass. The reflected knuckle 

brushed against the skin of my knuckle. A film of oil— 
in widening, colorful rings—waved on the surface 

like an exotic ray, then curled around my hip. 
The rain persisted, blowing in sheets against my cheek. 

When the water reached my mouth, could I help 
but take it in? Limp tree-leaves drained 

into me. My eyelashes thickened with algae. 
My ears became elaborate shells. Thank God I washed 

onto a beach! It was the time of Polynesia. 
A tribesman molded my skin into a mask. His wife 

strung my teeth together, into a necklace. 
My ribs were carved into buttons, knives, a whistle. 

I yellowed on tables, or on an old woman’s neck. 
Then it was the time of dispersion. The string 

snapped; my teeth scattered. The whistle 
went mute. The buttons were lost. The knives 

chipped and were thrown into the ocean. 
The tribesman suffocated in his mask. 

Then his brother also suffocated in the mask, 
and his cousin, and his cousin’s son after him, 

and it was because I had drowned, 
but they did not know it.

 
 
 

about the writer

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Erick Piller lives in Thibodaux, Louisiana. His writing has appeared in Best New PoetsEOAGHTriQuarterlyDIAGRAMH_NGM_NThe Journal of Creative Writing Studies, and elsewhere.

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