This article traces Roberto Bolaño’s fictionalized imprint in Diego Trelles Paz’s El círculo de los escritores asesinos and Alejandro Zambra’s Poeta chileno. These novels thematize Los detectives salvajes’ repercussions and effects on the Latin American literary scene, translating Bolaño’s imaginary around a poetic ethos into narrative dilemmas and strategies. El círculo de los escritores asesinos and Poeta chileno not only reflect on how to write but on how to be writers after Bolaño, once Ulises Lima and Roberto Belano established the Latin American poet’s pervasive and idealistic role model. Just as Bolaño’s real visceralistas are more concerned with living a poetic life than writing an oeuvre, Trelles Paz and Zambra portray communities of poets where affects and books permeate and reinforce each other. Ultimately, they draw opposing ethical outcomes from Los detectives salvajes’ iconic interweaving of literature, friendship, love and death.