The protagonist of Salvador Garmendia's novel Día de ceniza (1963) is a lawyer and poet named Miguel Antúnez, whose actions we follow over several days (with his lover, at the office, in his crumbling marriage, in the bars, restaurants and streets of downtown Caracas). I'm mid-way through the novel but part of the crisis Antúnez is undergoing relates directly to his inability to write poetry, or at least his feeling that he has failed in that endeavor. As the commentary on the back cover says, Antúnez ends up committing suicide. Garmendia epmhasizes this concern with poetry through his astonishing poetic sentences, which seem to be able to describe Antúnez's convoluted thoughts and his surroundings with equal precision.
In chapter IX, Antúnez and two friends end up at a chaotic party at a house somewhere in the hills overlooking Caracas as dawn arrives, after a long night of drinking. Garmendia's genius as a writer can be appreciated in passages such as the following description of the valley of Caracas, as light begins to filter into the city:
"La madrugada, y con ella el vasto y silencioso panorama de la ciudad y su fondo de montañas en lento crecimiento—sólo el cascarón vacío y carcomido envuelto en nubes blanquecinas, semejando los restos de una construcción incendiada—, empezaba a enflorar de manera insensible; era un nuevo escenario que se preparaba a brotar frente a ellos, saliendo del charco de turbia neblina que inundaba el valle, aunque los contornos eran todavía vagos e indefinidos. Entre tanto, allí, en plena noche, reinaba una calma agradable. Sentados en la grama húmeda, miraron los trazos luminosos de las avenidas cada vez más pálidos e indecisos, desfalleciendo en la claridad mate."
(Salvador Garmendia, Día de ceniza, Monte Ávila Editores, 1981)