Ecuador (based on today’s prompt #1)

by | December 2020 B (Day 3)

Rayito de Luz, Ecuador

My neighbor said they didn’t get electricity until 2000. I asked her what they did once it grew dark. Sleep, she said.

Nangaritza, Ecuador

Near the border of Peru, we turned around when we saw the sign about land mines.

Cuenca, Ecuador

We packed pipes and hid in shadows. The music was loud. We passed around a bottle. A man from Chile approached us with a cardboard guitar. His face was scarred with joy. The city so dead with rest.

Engabao, Ecuador

In a town without running water, in a town of wild pigs, I slept on the floor. I was visiting a friend whose father mailed him a gun. Piece by piece, one by one. He gave the local kids jerky and told them it was monkey.

Piñas, Ecuador

We learned how to open beer against a table. Against the arms of chairs. We learned how to open wine with a shoe. We ate eggs daily. We bathed rarely. We plucked mangoes from the trees and brushed away the bugs.

Engabao, Ecuador

In the middle of the night I went outside and saw dozens of frogs. They were making enough noise to poison the rain. Through the cracks in the fence, the wild pigs snorted and sniffed, looking for an in.


    • Jack O'Connell

      I would also read as much of this as you could do. It makes me think that an interesting structure like this really gives your sonorous sentences a chance to shine in a new way different than just being in a big paragraph. Maybe keep experimenting with different structures and different ways for how things look on the page because this just made your already really alive sentences shine.

    • Benjamin Niespodziany

      Thanks for a great weekend workshop, Bud! Generated a lot of writing that I wouldn’t have otherwise done. I’ve been in surrealist/fiction mode for the last year or so, and this week found me writing about my family, my janitor co-workers, my wife, and my time in Ecuador. Thanks for these reflective and grounding prompts!

  1. Ben Saff

    And now I want to prose/poem-ify my travel experience. Also, what Bud said!

    Also, your concise narrative style, not leaking any emotion, also reminds me of Hemingway. But an alternative Hemingway that is poetic and slightly derooted from reality. Very nice.

  2. Kara Vernor

    Same!! Your writing and the structure are mesmerizing. It seems like the start of something longer that might, with time, reveal a pattern or even an arc, but also maybe not. Either way, I’d be in.

  3. Bill Merklee

    Yes! I would also read a whole book of this. I absolutely love the idea of a face scarred with joy. I wondered if it was necessary to write Ecuador after the name of every town, but there is poetry in the repetition. Beautiful.

  4. Saxon Baird

    Unfortunately, I am just going to have to echo what Bud and everyone else said about this piece. I want so much more. Feels like a one-page sample and I’m already typing in AbeBooks dot com to order the rest of the thing.

  5. Rachel Pollon Williams

    Yes! A whole story like this. Oh my god, how many interesting, precise details can one story get. So fun. More please.

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