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 has been some time since I wrote anything here. For that – I apologise. Life for everyone has reached a point that is very different from the norm. I have been busy, and in the coming months will be taking the opportunity of self isolation to complete various writing projects. In fact – I am here to show you how busy I have been!
Firstly I wish to announce that my debut novella Seven Day Fool which was published in paperback by Suave Collective Publishing has been released as an ebook. At this time of social distancing, many of us have more time on our hands to read. Whereas a real book to hold is preferable, digital copies are essential at this time. In a few weeks – the sequel to Seven Day Fool, a book I have titled Take It Or Leave It will make its debut as an ebook, with the hope it will be published in book form some time next year, when Covid 19 is hopefully is nothing but a memory, and life has some sort of normality with personal freedoms restored.
As well as prose, I have been writing a lot of poetry. All of which is available from Lulu. Com
It will no doubt be available as an ebook at some point in the not too distant future.
Over the coming weeks, I will endeavour to make the majority of my books available to download. I will also take this extra time on my hands to continue to write and work on other projects.
I will also endeavour to write more articles and keep you readers informed with my writing exploits. Next week I will be writing about Speaky Blinders a Spoken Word night I Co-host with Robert Garnham, the new You Tube Channel for Speaky Blinders, and a recent digital single I have released, which is available via various platforms.
For now I say good bye, I wish you all well – and ask that you stay safe – and maybe read a book, or even write something yourself. 😊
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