The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 14, No. 2

Jim

by Roberto BolaƱo

Translated by Chris Andrews

Many years ago I had a friend called Jim, and he was the saddest North American I’ve ever come across. I’ve seen a lot of desperate men. But never one as sad as Jim. Once he went to Peru—supposedly for more than six months, but it wasn’t long before I saw him again. The Mexican street kids used to ask him, What’s poetry made of, Jim? Listening to them, Jim would stare at the clouds, and then he’d start throwing up.

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