A curious task today: make something using the names of spaceships from Iain M. Banks sci-fi books.
It must have been a synchronisity (or was it responsive?) for this to appear on the day that Iain has announced that he’s very ill with cancer and will probably not recover. (His very moving and pragmatic statement is here, too).
So I wrote a piece based on two of his ships’ names (all of which are wonderful fun): Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity and Just Another Victim Of The Ambient Morality. I’ve taken them as the first word for each line in the poem, to push me into a structure.
And, in keeping with my series of poems inspired by science news stories, I was looking on BBC Science and found this story: about the possible diagnosis of (particularly) stomach cancers, using the breath. Essentially, our breath is – the research suggests – like our fingerprint: unique.
Whenever I’ve got stuck in writing, I looked for a next word from the article (a bit found-poem-y, yes) and also sought some Banks quotes too. So it’s a drawing together of today’s announcement, that story, and Banks’ amazing spaceship titles.
It is something of a sketch, with lots of SPACE in it – as it should be…
I’m copying it in as a JPEG below (which may be a bit small) and a definitely-readable PDF here: Breath or, Inspiration / Exhalation
(WordPress is NOT good at poems with any unusual layout in them and I would not sacrifice it!).