Posts Tagged ‘no choice’

no choice

the gut argues for
sexual congress — never
such raw compulsion
as now — two bodies wholly
determined to do their thing

In 1969 Ian McKellen toured playing Marlowe’s Edward II, which I saw at the age of thirteen at the New Theatre Cardiff. Ironic, given at that point in my life I was oblivious to any homosexual feelings — nevertheless I was profoundly impressed and moved by the representation on stage of the historically fairly-accurate love affair between Edward II and his court favourite Piers Gaveston. Twenty years later, a dream told me that that particular couple had had ‘no choice’ — it had been fated — and I knew immediately, awake, that this had been my own feeling about my own gay love affair on which I embarked in 1971. Some decisions come from such a deep place that they can only be right however much misery and heartache they subsequently bring.

In my dream last night I was embracing another man’s wife. My poem describes the dynamic between us quite well. She was Judith whom I knew in 1977 by her maiden name of Everard. I was thoroughly smitten, but she was out of my league. Not in any carnal sense, for I don’t think she would have been interested in ‘sex before marriage’ in any case. But morally out of my league. She had a strength of character and integrity which I lacked. She has stayed firmly on a pedestal in my memory for the last forty years. It feels momentous to dream of her now as another man’s wife amenable to being seduced by me. I have dreamed of her reasonably often over the years, but cannot recall any similar dream where she comes down off her pedestal so decisively. In the dream, I was mainly concerned for my own unfaithfulness, not hers. I knew I’d betrayed Liz, and was looking desperately for ways of remedying the situation.



the equipment costs
too much — no choice but to give
this adventure up
— choice? who am I kidding? we
left choice behind at base camp

A walking route, where the road merged with a river. The water was the route. Before setting out with my partner Liz, I was contemplating the £300 which I didn’t have, to buy myself special waterproof shoes. There were also knee length boots for her, which cost even more. In real life we belong to the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers Club, but I suspect the knee length boots are a reference to a striptease show I once saw, where boots were all that was worn. Two completely opposite associations. But I’d like to think the symbol of water — and hence the trek — is equally both spiritual and sexual in meaning.