Monday, 10 June 2013

RIP Iain (M.) Banks

A couple of months ago, my favourite author, Iain (M.) Banks, announced he was suffering from a terminal illness - yesterday he died. Then I wrote about the announcement, now I write in memoriam, again taking inspiration from his science fiction work (with the 'M.'), and the spacecraft who name themselves.

The ships that never were

To my beautifully manicured venue,
Though detritus collects in hidden corners,
Just like a million other boxes,
Lifted by imaginary mourners,
At once grounded and enclosed, and so
I’m tired and someone’s glaring,
A virtual mountain-range of neuroses,
Unlikely to calm down in a hurry,
Not quite a pacifist, they’re staring
Fully equipped with the latest devices,
Wield the knife and slice
The matrix,
Upgrade and embrace
The spatio-temporal torsion,
Search among the vectors,
Punctuated static,
Unexpected divinity of spectres,
Crossing the transcendental periphery,
Quantifiably both something and nothing,
With an irresistible urge to investigate,
Seeking interesting opportunities,
Adding some real complexity,
3.141, you know the rest,
No final stopping place,
You’re great white whale-obsessed,
Blundering through a field of dreams,
Familiar with risk-perception,
Mind expansion if you will
(But trepanners will be prosecuted).

Now don’t forget to smile,
Or you’ll be
Missing out on the key to serenity,
A tragedian
Airing on the side of caution,
And forgetting yet again to
Take time to stop and eat the flowers –
‘Cos, you know
Is a socially acceptable
Way to fight the power,
Systematically dismantling ivory towers,
Grain by floating grain,
The unadulterated joy of pissing in a hurricane,
Revelling in
Smug feelings regarding the analysis of others,
A rockin’, rollin’ schadenfrood-dude,
Counting down to the beginning of the end,
Far too vainglorious to retire,
My back is turned and I walk away,
Which infinity will you try today?
With thirty seconds before the final cold or fire
A singularity would be more fetching attire,
Strangely charmed and quarkly spinning
Beauty is in the holder of the eye,
Now - kneel before Zod – only kidding!

Like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky,
Don’t ever let me catch you kneeling,
Praying in the Great Glass Coprohedral,
Where light and thoughts pass straight through,
Not so much loyalty as inertia,
Kind words masking worried glances,
Working though a litany of trances,
Good story, bro, please tell it again
So it’s not lost
On those who never were.

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