TROUT   [5]

Stephen Oliver: [1 , 2 , 3 , 4, 5]
Conrad & Wells & Co
  Great to have met Joseph Conrad
or for that matter, H.G. Wells, who said,
'Let's go upstairs and do nice things
with our bodies,' and who did just
that to tilt the waitress.
I saw them once, Conrad & Wells, in 
a photograph, standing together.
A courtyard setting beside a few bamboo
chairs. The hour was mild in a black
& white afternoon. Trees, too, 
green galleons shipping oars in Autumn.
Conrad had, perhaps, cast off the last line
of a novel: the indigo lump upon the 
horizon is an Island: behind it the sun
spilling its treasure trove: the rent
sail-cloth of a sea-squall. Anyway,
he could still smell the coast wobble from 
the deck of the tartane, her weight
to the wind. Wells, maybe, was thinking on
socialism & science, and in some
melancholic way of the waitress, she all
a-scent. By what conversations did
they measure each other, these two voyagers
who possessed that sense of the bigness
of the world? For Wells, an electrical
spark that arched across the white page, and
for Conrad, each word creaking on
the blocks, the woman pale before the moon,
her eyes black as tornadoes at sea. 
  © 1998