Prompt Writing: Burnside homage.

This spring, I took a writing class offered through Write Around Portland.  It was called “Prompt” because each week we would meet and write for a limited amount of time–usually somewhere between 2-8 minutes–to a number of different prompts.  As the school year grinds to a start and I have less time to write, I will be featuring excerpts from my writing class in lieu of the weekly essay.

Some of you “out-clickers” have already read this, as it was the piece I picked for the broadsheet.  The prompt was “along Burnside.”

The sidewalks are skinny. Too small to hold the accumulated panhandlers, tourists and residents who travel along Burnside.  There are even posted signs, directing us to keep walking, not to stop and sit, or contemplate the heavy traffic.  Sometimes, I think back a few decades, imagining the hybrids sprouting tailfins and doubling in length, then morphing again into Model Ts and early horseless carriages, and soon I hear the quiet clop of a horse pulling a carriage. As my mind travels back, buildings transform, replaced by their shorter predecessors.  I go further back and traffic thins until the road itself disappears, replaced by a footpath leading through the trees to the banks of the Willamette River.

3 thoughts on “Prompt Writing: Burnside homage.”

  1. Hi Patricia
    I remember your writing this in the Prompt workshop and I really loved it. As a Portland newcomer, it gave me a whole different vision of Burnside–I live near there and my feelings about it have been mixed. But now I can see it with different eyes.

    I used to fantasize like this traveling to New York as a kid. Going over the big bridges to Manhattan or Westchester, I'd imagine how beautiful the rivers must have been before all that and when only the Native Americans lived there.

    I just sent you an email. Will be in touch soon.

  2. I loved it when I out-clicked then and I love t now. It also makes me want to take this class with you. And yes, I know. I would have to move to PDX for that!

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