on worshipping little pieces of blazing hell

“Still, American television is full of smiles and more and more perfect-looking teeth. Do these people want us to trust them? No. Do they want us to think they’re good people? No again. The truth is they don’t want anything from us. They just want to show us their teeth, their smiles, and admiration is all they want in return. Admiration. They want us to look at them, that’s all. Their perfect teeth, their perfect bodies, their perfect manners, as if they were constantly breaking away from the sun and they were little pieces of fire, little pieces of blazing hell, here on this planet simply to be worshipped.”
― Roberto Bolaño, 2666


The man sits at one of the
cafes in the hypothetical ghetto. He writes
postcards because breathing prevents him
from writing the poems he’d like to write. I
mean: free poems, no extra tax. His eyes
retain a vision of naked bodies coming slowly
out of the sea. Then all that’s left is
emptiness. “Waiters walking along the beach”
… “The evening light dismantles our sense of
the wind” …

from Antwerp, chapter 2, “The fullness of the wind”, by Roberto Bolaño