JAIME PINOS (Santiago, Chile, 1970). Writer, editor, and producer. He has a degree in Literature from Universidad de Chile. He was the editor of the independent press house La Calabaza del Diablo and the editor of the homonymous magazine. He has published the novel Los Bigotes de Mustafá (1997) and the poetry books Criminal (2003) and Almanaque (2010). 

What is money?

Money is everything.

A virus. A poison.

To get money. To swallow money.

To spend money. To shit money. To owe money.
That’s what you live for. That’s life.
An infectious disease.
An epidemic.

A virus penetrating the host cell

and growing inside until it kills it.

Money in the veins.

Money in the heart.

Money is everything.

The common sense. The official language.

Five hundred thousand slot machines in the hoods of the country.

Convenience stores, retail stores, video stores, butcher shops.
Housewives, clerks, senior citizens
playing their last chips in the machines.
The fortune spinning. The money spinning.
Cherries. Pear. Lemon.
The fortune of the poor spinning
in the five hundred thousand slot machines.
Watermelon. Apple. Cherries.

The felling of the forests. 

The glaciers’ destruction.
The repression against the Mapuche people.
All those depredations.

Violence and fear in the large cities.

The face of the workers

in the crowded public transportation
returning home from a day at work
Their gaze.

The smiles of the kids

in the ads of banks and department stores.
The smiles of the famous people
in charity campaigns.

The smile of the President of the Republic.

All of that is money.

Oscar Rojas (44 years old)

was caught last night stealing food
in a supermarket in Lo Prado
he hung himself when the guards were not looking
before the police arrived.

That’s all.

In the center of life

money contemplates itself.

The virus that kills the host cell.

Lemon. Cherries. Cherries.


Translated by Carlos Soto-Román

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