& Wells & Co
to have met Joseph Conrad
for that matter, H.G. Wells, who said,
go upstairs and do nice things
our bodies,' and who did just
to tilt the waitress.
saw them once, Conrad & Wells, in
photograph, standing together.
courtyard setting beside a few bamboo
The hour was mild in a black
white afternoon. Trees, too,
galleons shipping oars in Autumn.
had, perhaps, cast off the last line
a novel: the indigo lump upon the
is an Island: behind it the sun
its treasure trove: the rent
of a sea-squall. Anyway,
could still smell the coast wobble from
deck of the tartane, her weight
the wind. Wells, maybe, was thinking on
& science, and in some
way of the waitress, she all
By what conversations did
measure each other, these two voyagers
possessed that sense of the bigness
the world? For Wells, an electrical
that arched across the white page, and
Conrad, each word creaking on
blocks, the woman pale before the moon,
eyes black as tornadoes at sea.