When he first wrote to us from Faraway Island,
he wrote, Just think in sentences, damn it.
A pink postcard, rough serrated edges.
The pinking shears again, dianthus pink,
which prevents all unravelings. The fabric of
the sentence is thus cut to match
the fabric of the world: fabricated
to be beside his all too glib,
all too pellucid poetry. Listen:
I count, I look, I write, I see. I take
no liberty. Impersonal and intimate
excoriations, Johnny China on
the shelves, rattling, about to break
both skin and shin, belabored breath, the tide
about to break the dawn…
Such sentences are indeed written from Faraway
to Farafor every day. A sentence-strength
prescription from a world so far afloat
we might have found it in a bottle. My name
is Johnny China. I’m awash on Faraway.
Send help, goddamn you, not more words, for there’s
a pirate’s parrot here. It eats a preposition
every day. Do you understand me? On Farafor.