The moon was just a dim smudge in the clouds

by Donald Riggs

is the sentence I wrote when taking notes
in preparation for writing novels
just like Walt Whitman and some young woman
who spoke to us at school about how she

generated her prose, driving her car
with a pencil and pad of paper on
the passenger seat, whenever she thought
of a sentence, a phrase, a description

then later cut them into separate
scraps so she could arrange them however
they fit together, writing connections

between them.  I thought I’d do the same thing
but this sentence was all I wound up with:
“The moon was just a dim smudge in the clouds.”