Pablo Piñero Stillmann

What I learned from ‘Saved by the Bell’
December 26, 2021 Piñero Stillmann Pablo


—After S. Rich
Only half a dozen people actually exist
in high school while the rest are semi-blurry
flat souls saying peas & carrots to each other with exaggerated
mannerisms. Dirty-blond studs can stop time, talk to God,
while us of the frizzy hair & endless puberties serve
only to keep lit the torch of pity. Don’t. Ever. Do. Drugs.
Clothes should all be in brand new brightest colors. Who would
ever want to be a teacher? Everything has a solution, even punching
your best pal outside the principal’s office. He wasn’t actually blond,
turns out it was dyed all along. Every cell in my body slurped
Saved by the Bell as Mother slept off the week’s exhaustion upstairs.
The worst was when Father came to pick me up for the weekend
just as things were getting good. Those dumb American
shows are all so predictable, he’d say as we drove
away. Tell me how it started & I’ll tell you how it ends.

Pablo Piñero Stillmann has been the recipient of Mexico’s two top
grants for young writers: The Foundation for Mexican Literature and
The National Fund for Culture and Arts. His fiction, nonfiction, and
poetry have appeared  or are forthcoming in, among other journals,
Bennington Review, Sycamore Review, Mississippi Review, Blackbird, and
Washington Square Review. He is the author of a novel, Temblador
(Tierra Adentro, 2014) and a short story collection, Our Brains and
the Brains of Miniature Sharks (Moon City Press, 2020).