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Edinburgh-based writer Alice Tarbuck wrote a found words poem from keywords that alert the US government to terrorist threats.

look for
listeria
sick swine
white powder

clouds and plumes
the colour of
avian flu
the shape of
hazmat suits

small island
embroidered with
explosives
human to human
human to animal

the sound of
power lines
failure or outage

wildfires
lightning aid
mud or mudslide
shelter-in- place

malware/brute force
swipe right for
phishing
swipe left for
scammers

your password should be
words and numbers
(excluding)
hacker/terrorism/virus
vaccine/suicide/surveillance

We asked Edinburgh-based writer Alice Tarbuck to write a found words poem from keywords that alert the US government to terrorist threats. This bizarre list of words includes seemingly innocuous objects like “cloud” and “pork”. Tarbuck’s poem reminds us how heavily our language is monitored and sometimes used against us. You can read the full list of banned words here.┬áThis poem is part of our dystopian writing workshop for Book Week Scotland, which will take place in Forest Cafe on 25th November.