the nuclear bomb
explodes like an orgasm
— or like the words I
love you
— terrible beauty —
aching to be understood

Both these symbolic equivalents for a nuclear explosion (orgasm and ‘I love you’) have been part of my private system of symbols for longer than I care to remember. I’m still as bemused as ever, wondering just how many other people would have thought of the same idea, across the world during the last 70 years that we’ve had a nuclear bomb. It seems pretty important, as symbols go.

In my dream last night, a nuclear explosion was imminent, centred on Paddington in London. I was located first of all at the heart of where the bomb was (it seemed to be a secret police facility) and then by the time it went off, I had managed to escape up Edgware Road towards Kilburn. People had received a couple of minutes’ warning and were panicking, trying to get into shop doorways off the street. Piling like sardines into a holding area meant for rubbish.

The thought behind the dream seems to be this: whenever I watch pornography behind Liz’s back, and reach orgasm, the event of orgasm impacts spiritually on Liz like a nuclear shockwave. I don’t know whether this is true or not. But the dream articulates, graphically, a vague notion that is always at the back of my mind.


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