Stan Skinny As Butcher Reality and Mark Hibbett – Storm House
Sun 8 Oct | 8pm | DINA | £6/£5
Captain Butcher Reality is a world heavyweight champion and poetry fan. Got a problem with that? Step into the square circle and see what he’s got in store for you. The first day in a new job usually involves meeting new people, health and safety and not being able to log in. Not so in Mark Hibbett’s sci-fi adventure. An out-of-this-world night of surreal humour. Link

Renaissance One Presents: The Venus Papers – Arrivals, Departures and Journeys
Fri 13 Oct | 7pm | DINA | £6/£5
Venus, the Roman goddess of love, has washed up on British shores to witness the aftermath of the 2017 general election. Through the eyes of an immigration officer, the media and the public, Venus experiences what it means to be a 21st century immigrant woman. Link

Wordlife Presents - Off The Shelf Party
Fri 13 Oct | 8:30pm | DINA | £5
Our annual party for Off The Shelf has always been one of the highlights of our annual programme. This year we'll be at DINA with our normal collection of national and local poets like Gav Roberts, a poetry slam, and music with a focus on radicalism. Link


and I am waiting for Aphrodite to grow live arms at a final disarmament conference’                                                                                                                                 ~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti, ‘I Am Waiting’

It’s taken fifty years but Aphrodite’s grown a pair

Waxed as barrels
and magazines.

It’s taken 50 then 2000
but V de Milo lives and walks,

has cut a hole inside the Louvre,
up into glass has carved and pushed

and pressed through shards
raining down like diamond rings,
flashing chips, switching blades on teflon skin…

Oh humorous humerus,
flexing triceps foots of feet
on feet, oh wholly, wholly, wholly feat -

she walked right out of the waiting sea
like Ursula Andres one quarter to three,
shell cased knife between her teeth.

Armed, she’s waving - striding into fields,
departments and offices, buildings and government,
half a century, another milestone round her leaf -
and Aphrodite has no need

of man to act as guarantee,
can withdraw books from public libraries,
take out loans without her husband’s
or her father’s by or leave.

Two score ten since ’65, millenaries since Milo,
centuries since Chaucer, five -

                The Wife of Gove.
The Wife of Gove
is tearing into bodies;
at the Daily Male gaze,
turning people into woe
oh into women  
and women to legs, legs to
Legs - it
Lexit, Brexit,
rotating Remoaner,
Aphrodite legs it,
needs a man
to set her straight.

And The Wife of Gove:

                Not just their legs - their lipstick
                and their suits on Pages 5 and 6 and -

Sarah Vine, Sarah Vine,
weaving plots that intertwine.

The Editor in Chief of all that cheats
sits down to dine at Downing Street.

George is setting the Evening Standard;
Oligarchs in parliament,
Murdoch in the bedroom.

In America, Church and State hold hands
assemble in a room an arc of men
to weigh the weight of wombs
and Venus is absent.

Oh wholly, wholly, wholly, fucking mess.
Joke. Last line like a whoopee cushion,
Trump! Trump!

When the time, the place
to talk of cups and poisoned pens,
hacked elections, health care axed,
Klu Klux Clan, groups removed
from the national census.

When the time, place?
Tampons taxed and revenues raised
given to anti-abortion campaigners -

there's a charity shop in my home city
reaching out to vulnerable women,
turning the clock back.

And the Landlord in Kent
that won’t rent to Indians,
turning the clock back.

And the no help for migrants,
no help for battered women,

Venus Walks Into a Bar -
It was an accident.
Trump! Trump!

We can’t make love anymore
there are only referendums…
forced photos and final letters.

I’m waiting for biblical tapestries,
children arriving in planes
to welcoming parties and warm patios.

Waiting for weighting,
different borders,
different endings,

sainted be experts,
political correctness,

Venus stands at a bus stop:

English sun,
British sun,
melting sun
igniting the scene,

armed at a bus stop.
Waiting for Godot,
God oh,
Oh God.

Lydia Towsey