MAP photograph

for the tourists

I am your secret hornet. Are they collapsing,

Billions? The price of something tanks.

Minute taking in a hazmat suit

My fifth living gets battered, pavilion for silver

Though estranged, nonscarce. Table service. Keyhole perjury.

Pass me the cheaper bottle, vector. All bets off.

And fending for itself, our lone canard the linnet

Commits a song to bladdered meadows,

Wayward feels the sun, while in a pinch and seawise,

Deposits railing against the T&Cs, I’ve

Had it with ornate disgust. Theoretically. Get

In the car. The thing about war crimes is

Irrelevant to our web developers. A module

To trust, and microchipping regal. A perfumed star.

What matters is how we tell our tale again,

How to keep a lookout, though winded, winged

Sandals dodging tranches of heroic mist.

And, in the plague state, the subjunctives of

Liberal narration manhandle everyone.

Tough shit. I am fucking perilous. I am

Butting and heretical, the default Podunk

Subtitle. Get this, luckless: a subsidiary of the crater

Hits the spot. It’s rigged. Incriminating bends

A kingdom arc of photocopies, bothered coworker,

But what about the Lehman Sisters?

The financialisation of the oesophagus. Opera and

Mishap. Rhetoric and dieback. Poetry and centrism.

Then AstraZeneca pelt up to the dock.

And you think it’s history that hates you?

The gale blows over international waters

Without purpose, and you are near me

As the satellites are not. This was our backup objective,

To speak all havoc, wrest a gleaming breastplate

From the scamps. Because the melody of the correct

Is fabulous in joylessness, a set of ornamental daggers

For the equations worked out earlier.

I salute it, but it’s not for me. You’ll be sorry

To the tune of evidence-based spindrift

When the systems analysts deign one day to tweak us,

Cropped to shit. A multistorey car park that

Commences in one century, terminating in another.

Not that the McDonald’s was open yet.

And is it guileless to earmark being beautiful?

No more echoing in potholes, no more

Heeding what they pressure you to write.

Rattled still, and snaking grimly through an institution

We despise, the effort to insist on movement’s

Always brittle, profession without end. You don’t say.

Take another ogle of the Broad Street pump.

Messengers zigzag the lower layers, no fun

For the higher-ups or the rump insurance payments

Of the Ancien Régime. A queue of disembodied questions

Looks to be rebuking you. That’s just Monday.

Golden the end is nigh, the enemy is

Time itself. Which room for the plenary again?

Repugnance to imagine the exit streak

Of all minimising invoices. But here’s a

Tearful sidebar anyway. Not idle is the wrath of state,

Tolerably bankrupt. Pick a sector. Pick a sphere.

The architectonics are those of freedom, the butcher

Is spangled and fresh from IT. Then soldier on boldly,

Back into the sauna. The trickle-down has

That booze stink. Rentier is not a religion

But it might as well be. So put a mortal sock in it.

Our full cohesion with events managers everywhere.

And that’s all from the carsick legislator. A welcome

Distraction. Blow the parsonage.


Dom Hale is a poet from Lancashire. He edited the magazine Mote and helped to organise the poetry reading series JUST NOT in Edinburgh. His most recent things are Two Odes, Firewall, and Scammer.


TENANCY is a MAP project in twelve parts, presenting new work considering what it means to occupy somewhere–or something–temporarily. The project is curated by Helen Charman, MAP Commissioning Editor.