A new book is on its way! Published by Beatnpress, an experimental book culled from many hand written notes that consist of extracts from short stories, poems and film scripts. This non linea novella tells the tale of Diz – a young trumpet player who leaves his mundane life in Manchester, England, to spontaneously fly to New York and find himself. Roll forward 5 years. He is still in America. He is beginning to make a name for himself as a musician. Commissioned to write a Jazzy score for a movie – he takes on challenges he did not expect. Memories are evoked, and his past seems to be looming ever larger in his present day life. Vignettes crafted together build up the tale of his recent past, his mental health and the truth he is trying to escape from. Can those around him help him when it matters most?
In other news UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy recently published by Beatnpress
Has continued to be a success and is so far the bestselling book at Beatnpress. It sold out of its first print run, and should sell out of its second print run soon, as half of the second print run is already accounted for – and this is before the new run has been delivered from the printers! The books should be arriving tomorrow or Thursday and will begin being shipped out to customers as soon as they arrive. So, if you want a copy go to http://www.beatnpress.co.uk today and get your order in quick.
So I have published my latest collection of poetry.
It is a great feeling producing a book and seeing it in the flesh. Published through my own imprint Beatnpress. This book is a really honest collection. I am proud of it, because it has been created during what has been a tumultuous year for so many people.
As poet and artist Becky Nuttall writes:
Jason covers all the current major themes in ‘Pop Versus Subterranean’ – everything we have lived through and our thoughts in the last months ; the Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the Government, reflections on love, youth, the Jazz Age, suburban life , the influence of Pop Art, the Cosmos – understanding how we need to recreate our own space – virtual, fantasy or reality.
From the Foreword of Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley (2021)
The intention is a collection that is relevant and up to date, but also explores the nature of what is popular, and what is considered Subterranean or Underground. Its about being innovative and striving for success, but not necessarily selling out.
As with most of my work there is a musicality and use of rhythms often likened to Jazz. I am a self styled Beat Poet, and I wear my influences on my sleeve.
Of all my poetry collections, this one is perhaps one that reflects the way I think the most. I have also been very creative with the design of the cover. Using Pop Art style motifs similar to Peter Blake and colours I have tried to link the interior with the cover in an artistic way. The arrows and the red circle are a nod to the influence Paul Weller has had on my work.
The image of Paul Weller wearing on the cover of This Is The Modern World shows Paul wearing a jumper with two arrows and a badge on the front.
I chose a reinterpreted simplified version for the main image. When creating this cover. It’s not an exact copy. The arrows differ in size on the book cover because the meanings inferred by the image in relation to the books title are different than the Pop Art/Punk ethos Paul Weller is implying. It is also reversed as I did not want to be seen as copying an idea, but taking it as an artistic influence.
If you are interested in Pop Versus Subterranean you can either use the contact form on the menu of this page and make a request for signed copies or go to lulu.com where the book is printed and dispatched on demand.
As well as releasing these books, in the last week I have written an article for Zani, which is an online magazine with articles covering a wide range of topics. The article I wrote was titled A Pint Of Bitter, Bound To Be A Good Thing… And was About British Jazz icon Tubby Hayes, and a new limited edition book that has been published by Mono Media Books. In the article I interview the main man behind the project-Mark Baxter, who is an author and film producer, amongst other things.
You can read that article here, and if you are interested in this book about the British Jazz legend. You can follow the link for more information at the end of the article.
So, as you can see – I have been fairly busy. However, the main thing I wish to bring to your attention is my new paperback that has been released – it is titled – Angel In Alabaster,
and is the sequel to Beat To A Pulp. It is a book I am very pleased with and continues with the theme of writing a prose tale in verse form. My interest in Pulp Fiction and Film Noir is very apparent in this book, and it contains moments that feel familiar, and comfortable within the environment of the tale. In fact. An up and coming writer – who is very hip to the world’s I allude to in the book has written a foreword to the book, which I feel gives the reader an insight into what Pulp Fiction Poetry, Or Film Noir Verse is. Here is that foreword:
It’s a pulp world. A space where people make shapes, alloyed by desire. It’s where Exterior means: “I need to get from Point A to B, with a direct response,” as Interior leaves us groping for dark epithets with one hand, while knocking back a boiler maker with the other. Jason Disley knows this world like the back of his hand. Read The Angel in Alabaster and you’ll be on several fifth drinking terms with it. It’s a warm enough room; a bourbon haze, a nascent lounge lizard on the Wurlitzer and a Turkish delight scarlet hue in the furnishing. Pick through the Fry’s, expect to stumble upon some ebon promise. Loretta, Johnny, The Artisan: all creations unique to Jason’s palette – the wasp’s sting here is in their familiarity. The initial impact of The Angel in Alabaster comes from this sense of ironic comfort. For a long time fan of the novels of Raymond Chandler, the songs of Johnny Mercer and the silhouette of Gene Tierney, reading words that invoke 1940s LA hums the same heat as Vernon Duke’s mellow Manhattan Fall: “Glittering crowds (…) In canyons of steel / They’re making me feel I’m home.” But, as a later poet of sky rises observed, It’s also where the hatred is. The Angel in Alabaster has a raison d’etre supplanted from a previous work, BeattoaPulp: a juxtaposition of the argot of gumshoes and cheese cakes with the ennui of the verse styling found in T. S. Eliot’s 1920s modernism. In laymen’s terms, this is a way of depicting a story filled with the pulse of hard boiled sensuality, through a poetic metre impressing ‘hip’ speech rhythms, for those of a Spillane bent, at the same time as employing strong rhymes to locate a subtle sense of the universality of Noir in these Google fried times. “The stuff that dreams are made of” now so manifest that “doing a number” is as much part of the current bloodstream as a commonplace app; on its 20th Luckie for the day of course. And this is where Jason mounts his own unique killer-diller. Jason’s poetry in The Angel in Alabaster delves into Noir as an intrinsic part of so many of today’s cultural default mode. Sin City – look at the implied neons and Edward Hopper pallor. Peaky Blinders – the hissy darkness and ‘hat as icon’ imagery. Boardwalk Empire – well, It’s like a resort for…. Gangsters. However, Mr. Disley is anything but the lid on a semiotic dust bin. E. M. Forster told us to “only connect;” he could be describing the best way to tuck into The Angel in Alabaster’s rhyme of the non’lent gumshoe jazz riff. Dig the influences, connect the dots. How modernist. Dot connection is indeed the thing wherein we catch the shtick of the Dis. Slang is normally habitual; It’s great paradox residing in it being always there, despite fashion making it permanently transient. Within the bounds of The Angel in Alabaster, it functions as a refining signifier, beckoning towards a signified inscribed with ‘pleasure.’ Jason’s utilisation of Eliot’s bleak poetics illustrates this best of all. Cf, The Waste Land: She smooths her hair with automatic hand, And puts a record on the gramophone. ‘This music crept by me upon the waters’ (…) O City City (….) Now ‘Angel’: Johnny needed to shake the lead out of his shorts (….) He would find the gator with a gat Or the cat with a shiv Who had decided the Lady in The Jade Dress must crowd (….) He needed Seven to become Eleven in this crap shoot.
In The Waste Land, speech rhythm connotes towards ennui – a boredom that beckons towards an out of reach memory from a Tempest. In ‘Alabaster’, the metre is also of speech, but this time the modernist urge to make it new comes not as a lofty literary, but in a bouquet of side mouth rye. The fragments that Jason stores against The Artisan’s ruins read more like William Gottlieb’s photograph of 52nd Street: from swing to bop is the measure of Seven becoming Eleven. The Angel of Alabaster may allude to Eliot’s “a handful of dust,” in form; when read and digested, the grab is still there but definitely in a lamp gaze view – from the lipstick cap to Lana Turner’s eyes, plus John Garfield’s peak in between. Whether you dream of Rita Hayworth or crack like Jimmy Cagney, rein in your 38. for Jason Disley’s latest invitation to the pulps. *
Nathan James Le-bas
*: All quotes from The Waste Land, The Complete Poems & Plays of T. S. Eliot (London, 1969).
AngelInAlabaster has a wonderful bookcover designed by Mark Head Aka Mr. H. Mark, designed the cover for Beat To A Pulp, and it seemed natural to ask him to design the cover for this collection.
The book is available now from
And soon it will be available from other online retailers such as Amazon.
Going forward, I am working on a third Film Noir Verse book, and the sequel to Seven Day Fool, titled Take It Or Leave It, this book will initially be made available as an ebook. I hope that when the time is right it will be published in paperback.
Lastly I wish to share a video of a poem I have written, that is a message for all of us at this time. As we all make our way through this Pandemic – follow the rules and keep safe. I will no doubt be sharing something else with you next Monday. JD.
It is now available! The spoken word album that began as a concept back in 2016.
When I was approached after sharing a poem on a popular social network, and asked if I would like to record something. I jumped at the opportunity. It was something that had never really crossed my mind. But, as soon as it was proposed, I thought – yes! So then Rick Blackman – the musician and producer who had proposed the idea – and I got to work on teaming up original compositions with my poetry. So it began – a fulfilling and exciting period of creativity. It was a project that was done over long distance. Rick lived up in the north west of the UK and I lived in the South West. But with the use of today’s technology we were soon able to work well together, swapping ideas and doing our best to create an interesting body of work. Both Rick and I love music and have an affinity with various styles of music. Both of us are interested in the history of British subcultures, especially the mid twentieth century. This is reflected in some of the music on the album. There are many nods to those periods. There is also a very European feel to it, and with one track – Breathless there is a real sense of French cinema in the music. In fact Breathless is read in French by Gabriela Giacoman – the lead singer of the French band French Boutik. Serge Hoffman, also of French Boutik also adds his voice at the start of the album, supplying and setting the scene with an introduction that allows the listener to imagine the album has been recorded live in a club in Paris.
To add to this, fellow writer Jason Brummell has kindly written a fictional scene as a foreword to the twelve page booklet that is included with the CD.
When Adam Cooper, the head honcho at Heavy Soul Records heard the demos and agreed to releasing the album. You can imagine how thrilled I was. This was an incredible moment. I was at the beach with my family when I received the call. You can imagine how I was when I heard the news. I was jumping up and down in my swim shorts on the beach. Onlookers probably thought I was trying to invent a new dance! I was that elated. Even with the yes, due to the schedule and the album taking its place in the run of things, it took another year for this release date to arrive. In the meantime I have worked hard at improving my craft. Becoming more comfortable with performance, (I even host a regular spoken word evening called Speaky Blinders) and have written quite prolifically. Returning to these poems will be a joy as I endeavour to share what is on the album in the coming months.
Here is just one of the tunes off the album for you
I have a new collection of poetry out! It will be officially launched on May 7th. I can’t wait to get it out there for people to read.
It has been a while since I have posted anything here – Something I should rightly apologise for. So, I am sorry. I promise not to take so lo g before I write something here again.
It has simply been, that I have been extremely busy of late, and, it really doesn’t look like the workload is going to change anytime soon either! Which is a good thing. Its good to keep busy. I have recently completed the sequel to my novel Seven Day Fool a book called Take It Or Leave It, It has been sent to the publisher. Ihave also been performing regularly at spoken word events. I recently took part in the Torbay March Of The Mods event at the end of last month, which saw as usual a group of like minded people helping raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a very worthy cause.
As well as all that – I have collated the twenty five poems that are in this new collection. Chaos Reigns Supreme.
The book is titled after a poem I wrote and have performed a few times at spoken word events. It’s subject matter reflecting the current state of affairs in the UK, and Europe. Here is that very poem that inspired the collection.
The collection isn’t all doom and gloom though. There is light and shade as it deals with many aspects of life. It doesn’t shy away from moral panics, but also looks at existence and the necessity of hope. Poems with titles such as Things Are Changing, and A Positive Flame, are in there, as well as poems such as Knife Crime, and If Poems Were Bullets. It is a collection that reflects society at a time when Chaos does seem to be everywhere. But, the truth is – there should always be a glimmer of hope. A voice of reason for us all. The book is my voice of reason, with honesty at its core. It is a book that apparently
Combines the rhythms of 1950s Beat Poetry, with a fresh look at modern life, and illustrates them brilliantly with his verse (Pulp Magazine)
At long last the wait for my debut album to be released is almost over. Adam Cooper the head honcho at Heavy Soul! Records confirmed recently that Speakeasy is the next album to be released on the label. The poems that are on this unique spoken word album were written many years ago. In fact a couple of them were in my first publication way back in 1996! So, finally sharing them via an album is a big deal for me. The music that accompanies them was written and produced by Rick Blackman. A man whose musicianship, knowledge and creativity is simply superb. He is a true modernist with always a view to moving things on, not standing still and takes those recognisable elements of the past and shapes them into wonderful new things. It has been an honour to do this collection. Which I have mentioned in various other articles I have written previously.
Heavy Soul Records 2019 releases
So, that is my news for now. Please feel free to purchase any of my books that are available online. Or contact me for info on performances etc.
It’s a long time coming – but the debut album by yours truly will be worth the wait, trust me.
Mixing Modernist Beat Poetry with music provides a Spoken Word album that is different, and full of diverse poetry that will resonate with some of you out there. It’s a concept album – its a performance in a club in Paris, somewhere by the left bank and starts with an introduction by Serge Hoffman from French Boutik, and then goes into a series of poems all accompanied by original music written and performed by Rick Blackman. The slick music enhances my poetry and elevates it. There is a mixture of the serious, the not so serious, and the surreal, all served with that outlook of the Mod scene. It’s about looking to the past, wearing your influences on your well tailored sleeves before moving things forward along a path of your own choosing. It’s speaking easy about what you believe. It’s living in the now and having ambition. Even if that ambition is literally only a moment away.
It’s a project that came about by chance and is a body of work that I am proud of. I am really looking forward to sharing it, and hope listeners and readers alike will dig this album as much as Rick and I do.
One of the poems included on the album is
It’s about wanting to have a good time. To experience those moments that are an escape from the mundane. It is a look at existence and how we need to fill our week with memories that are fulfilling. The poem first appeared in my book Runaway Soul!
Desirous of the escapism
Of mad deeds
That sow the seeds
Of new adventures.
Neon nights filled with
Hearts and the haunts
Of great troubadours.
Into the city
But only in those
That are not cloaked by
For those pockets hold
The wonder of life
That reaffirms an existence
Through the mediums of
Music, dance and style.
The stage is set
Kick in and
The weeks end
Flows to the
The mediocrity of
The existential life
New dawn breaks
And the light
Shines on the harsh
Showing us the cracks
In the decaying
That is why they say
“Life is what you make it”
For now I will
Be the architect of
My own ontology
Bringing about a happiness
That I hope can be shared.
(Jason Disley 2016)
The album Speakeasy will be available sometime in 2019. There will be a single released prior to the album and they will both be released by
It’s Noirvember and the perfect time of year to luxuriate in the comfort of your home watching classic movies like The Big Sleep, or Key Largo, maybe Double Indemnity or other such films. Likewise you could read books by authors such Raymond Chandler, Micky Spillane or Dashiell Hammett to name but just three of the great Pulp Fiction writers out there that have influenced the Film Noir genre. Or you could dip into my book –
It’s a great slice of the Pulp genre – even if I say so myself. It has all the ingredients of Pulp Fiction and a good Film Noir. It has characters easily recognisable from the genre. Ruby the Femme Fatale, Johnny – On – The – Spot, and Jack Rabbit Blood – two rival Gangsters, and Aldous Beech the hardboiled detective. But, this book is a Pulp Fiction with a difference. It is written to the rhythms of Jazz, and flows in verse form. It is a form of prose/poetry. Each snippet leads to the next, as each “poem” is read in order – so a film noir reveals itself in the readers imagination. It isn’t poetry that provokes deep thought. It is poetry for pleasure. It’s story telling in a way that is perhaps a little different from your normal book.
I am proud of it, and hope that should anyone buy a copy that they enjoy it. It’s an original tale, but has a familiarity about it. It will hopefully be appreciated like a favourite classic movie or a thrilling detective story.
Since the books release on Lulu earlier this month. I have been performing some of the poems.
It allows me to get my creation out to a different audience. It’s title Beat To A Pulp is obvious. I am after all a poet who enjoys performing. This book is my concept album. It’s full of Jazz and tells a story.
The book is currently in the global reach system and will be available in paperback from Amazon and other online retailers soon There are also plans for an ebook version in the New Year.
If you want a copy for Christmas for someone- to guarantee it’s delivery please order direct from Lulu (see the available at Lulu link above) updates on other retailers will be announced in future posts.
In the meantime enjoy the rest of Noirvember. Thanks for reading Jason Disley.
I have been busy. Extremely busy. Last month saw my run of poetry performances hitting an all time high. So much so – I haven’t posted anything here for while. For that I can only apologise. Having performed in Torquay, Paignton, Newton Abbot and a gig in Birmingham it is a wonder I have had time to focus on other things. But I am pleased to say I have. I have been adding the final touches to my new book which will be available soon. My book is a poetry collection that is different from anything else I have ever written. It is a complete Pulp Fiction tale told in verse form.
Here is the blurb from the back cover:
“In this, epic collection, Disley has conjured up a cast of characters that shimmer, dodge and thrill the page with a story straight out of storyvile”
SJ Knight – Crime Fiction Writer
Firmly set in the period of Pulp and Noir of the twentieth century in an unnamed American city- Beat To A Pulp delivers poetry that’s full of the jive talk you would expect to read in Hammett, Chandler and Spillane.
It’s a Beat Poet delivering his version of a Pulp Fiction. It’s straight from the fridge and if you’ve got your boots on, you will dig the jive and imagine what happens when the canary sings.
The book is published by Beatnpress.
Now that the book is practically complete, it’s forty poems, are also ready to be performed and on the 14th of this month I will be debuting a handful of the poems from this collection. If you are a fan of Pulp Fiction, and Film Noir like I am. You will know that Jazz is often associated with the movies, and tales in the Pulp oeuvre. So naturally as my thoughts move towards performing and breathing life into the poems. I immediately felt it was right to have some suitable jazz to play in the back ground whilst reading. Enhancing the experience and hopefully allowing for a Film Noir to play in the minds of the audience.
So I have made a suitable Spotify playlist. It is only short and comprises of just three tunes.
No doubt as I add more of the poems to the performances I will add more music to the playlist.
The debut performance will be at Word Command at Zitas in Exeter.
If things develop as I hope I would love to turn this collection into a play also. To see the characters come to life would be incredible. It would also be another string to add to my writing bow. But for now I am just so happy to share that this collection is going to be available to read soon. The book cover has been designed by Mr. H. He has also provided six images within the collection to accompany the poetry. Mr H. also designed the cover to my debut novella Seven Day Fool.
Well here we are in August. Today’s blog starts with the sad news of a fellow poet who has passed away.
He was someone I only knew briefly. But, his entrance into my life has been profound. He was a kindred spirit. A lover of Jazz and The Beat Generation. He was anti establishment, despite – or maybe because – he worked in banking in the City of London in his younger life. But his love of Jazz and the hedonistic writing of the Beats made Jazzman John Clarke follow his own road. One full of discovery and zest. He seemed to have had at times a difficult life, but he never let it get him down. Instead he showed the verve and spontaneity of what he called himself – A Jazzman. His poetry drove along to rhythms I admired. I have listened to recordings he has done, and seen videos he is in. The charm of this excentric Shamanistic reveller never ceasing to amaze me. His conviction being so pure and free because he believed in what he was doing. I was introduced too him via the Internet by Chris Free from Mr Free Shirts and the Singer, Songwriter of the superb band – The Sound Of Popart. Whose latest album’s title The Beat The Beautiful And The Loaded could sum up John very easily. His words could be beautiful, and were often loaded with thought provoking statements. And he was always a true Beat as far as I was concerned. When John and I began to converse it was fantastic. Here I was – the lesser experienced performer, but someone who admired what I was hearing and seeing. His enthusiasm matched my own. He loved I had written books about Jazz and Blues music. From the conversations we had – it was only natural I ask him to write the foreword to my third book in a music trilogy. This book – Runaway Soul! saw him place an everlasting stamp on my life, because he very graciously said he would be honoured to do so.
Here is a snippet of what he wrote about my poetry:
“The words quickly draw you in with the staccato of repeated one-liners that proceed to propel and project the reader forward and all the while the poet’s unmistakable voice is present, laid bare, loud, clear and uncluttered.
Then, like a stray spark from a flame, urban reality kicks in… “