Godzilla in Mexico by Roberto Bolaño
Up early after dropping dead last night and just sleeping. Listening to jazz now and working. Here’s a really wonderful poem by Roberto Bolaño. Whenever K. and I get together for coffee, he keeps telling me about this guy, until he finally lent me a book, Savage Detectives. I still haven’t read it (I know! I know!) but I’ve been meaning to, really. After reading this poem, I just had to look for more of his works, and found this:
“Roberto Bolaño spent the majority of his too short life as a poet, therefore poor and rarely published. When the poet fell in love and started a family, Bolano found himself writing fiction for a living. (•)
There’s so much story in there, I don’t know where to begin. I am always interested in poets-turned-novelists and vice versa, or poets who became famous doing other things (Leonard Cohen, for instance). Anyway, I’m rambling. Here:
Godzilla in Mexico
Listen carefully, my son: bombs were falling
over Mexico City
but no one even noticed.
The air carried poison through
the streets and open windows.
You’d just finished eating and were watching
cartoons on TV.
I was reading in the bedroom next door
when I realized we were going to die.
Despite the dizziness and nausea I dragged myself
to the kitchen and found you on the floor.
We hugged. You asked what was happening
and I didn’t tell you we were on death’s program
but instead that we were going on a journey,
one more, together, and that you shouldn’t be afraid.
When it left, death didn’t even
close our eyes.
What are we? you asked a week or year later,
ants, bees, wrong numbers
in the big rotten soup of chance?
We’re human beings, my son, almost birds,
public heroes and secrets.