The Old Tin Sandwich

I have been so busy of late, working on several projects at once. You see with the Covid era we have been through, and the hours of not working at the “day job” because of furlough – it was necessary to keep active. To be creative, and occupied. So, as a writer and poet, it was a time of productivity. From writing articles for zines, to self publishing another book of poetry, to collaborating with other writers, and even recording a track for a spoken word album. On top of that I am working on a third novel, editing two books of my own, and helping a mate out with publishing a memoir written by his late wife for charity.

So, you can see. I haven’t been lazy, just watching Netflix and Amazon Prime the whole time.

The track for the spoken word album is called

A Dance With The Devil Called Chance, which appears on the new Croydon Tourist Office compilation Friends Of Croydon Tourist Office

Friends Of Croydon Tourist Office

This track is a whopping eight minutes and eight seconds long, and is an extract from another forthcoming book titled The Forgotten Whisper On The Wind, my third collection of Pulp Fiction Poetry. But, anyway I digress. With my latest collection of poetry Pop Versus Subterranean having recently been published, I realised that under my own imprint I had published ten books since 2016.

I had had the idea of my own small publishing press since the mid 90s, when I had embarked on trying to be a writer.

As those of you who have read my blog over the last few years, you will have seen that I am inspired by the Beat Generation, and being brought up in the 70s , I had developed that Punk attitude of doing it for yourself.

From my conscious decision came the idea of Beatnpress. So, naturally when I began to self publish I developed my “brand”. I had aspirations to not only write, but to help other writers. However, I had lacked the confidence to really go for it. That is, until now. When life was paused, it made me evaluate. I considered what I wanted to do. I saw what I had managed in recent years, but didn’t want to go backwards. I was more determined than ever to try and make things work. Opportunities come your way, and sometimes you need something to kick your behind – so that you can really make those dreams and aspirations come true.

By creating http://www.beatnpress.co.uk I have provided myself, not only a platform for myself, but hopefully in the future, a platform for others.

Something that, at the moment gives me a sense of pride.

Anyway. I am sure readers, you are wondering what all this has to do with an old “Tin Sandwich”? Well. Nothing really – apart from recently I wrote a poem that I thought I would share at the end of this post. 😊

The Old Tin Sandwich
Clamped between the lips
The tongue bending as the note is found.
The vibration waves through the
Comb
Then the Blues wails
With its responsive sound.
A rhythmic backbeat
Is found by stomping feet, claps or drums.

Yes the harmonica hums.
The he haw
See saw
And a bit of wah wah
Hollow cheeks filled and then empty
Giving the sound plenty-
Streaming across the teeth
Cupped hands
Wave
Fanning the passion
And
The emotion
As nearby
A Guitar simply weeps.
The hum is electric
As a crowd watches on.
The eyes are closed
Where did that note come from?
Is it a spiritual
A sound from the past?
Is it an echo of anguish
Or a triumphant sound?
Is it from down low
From beneath the ground?
Is it from the core.
Hunched over in midnight blue
A musician puts a spell on you.
The knee jerk of the call and response.
The onlooker may give a whoop of appreciation
Or just a silent nod
But either is alright
When it’s music that can be loved,
And the rhythms wash over you.
The Old Tin sandwich
Is never stale
When you learn to breathe life into the Cosmos.
©Jason Disley (April 2021)

The Old Tin Sandwich

No more “Beating” about the Bush – I am here to promote my work!

So I have published my latest collection of poetry.

Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley out now!

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.

Pop Versus Subterranean

The book cover design.

There is a new collection of what I term “Modernist Beat Poetry” coming out on March 26th. It is available via Beatnpress.

It is a collection that delves into various topics and thoughts during the last twelve months. The world is very much changed, as society has had to come to grips with the Covid 19 Pandemic. So, in this book some of the events and my personal perceptions are revealed. Such as, 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.

It is not unlike other books I have written, as there are elements of musicality in my poetry. I am fascinated by society, culture and art, and write honestly, sharing things as I perceive them. During lockdown, we all have moments of fear, horror, hope and yearning. Thereabout comes senses of rebellion and at times even confrontation. But, there are also moments of optimism and hope. Life is complicated, and as a writer I search for understanding. There are also moments where I drift into surrealism.

However the main focus in the book is the relationship between Popular culture, and underground culture. What is underground today, could be the popular culture of tomorrow. There are nods to Pop Art, and some quite Avant-garde ideas, as well as the fickleness of Pop. More niche ways of thinking are looked at by society with suspicion yet are equally valid. Underground movents or subcultures can express amazing wisdom and foresight. Some will disappear, but others will grow in popularity.

Jason Disley poet.

This book is like a collection of verbal photographs, it is a series of moments and thoughts made during 2020 – 2021, that I have recorded and chosen to share.

Pop Versus Subterranean the new book by Jason Disley

I hope though, that the work serves to inspire, and in a small way educate. Like my literary heroes, I believe in the art of expression. I self styled myself as a modern day Beat Poet because I have similar tastes to those that went before me. I live to live, and wholeheartedly take on board experience – no matter whether it is good or bad. I live in the moment, and take each day as it is. During the Pandemic, as with many of you out there, there have been difficult days, and days that seem easier. Creativity has helped me. As I am sure many of you out there have also been productive. This is the fruit of my labour. I hope you like it and whether it stays underground or becomes popular is not up to me. I just want it to be read, and hopefully appreciated.

The collection has a wonderful foreword written by poet and artist Becky Nuttall, who is also a curator of exhibitions and helps run Stanza Extravaganza, a (before Covid) regular spoken word event in Torbay. She has her own collection called Nick’s Gift – which I highly recommend. It is available from Amazon.

Pop Versus Subterranean will officially be available from Lulu.com as of 26th of March. It is also available via myself and in a few weeks time from various other online retailers.

The book retails at £10.99 +pp

Please send me a message if you would like a copy.

Here is the title poem. Pop Versus Subterranean:

The title poem: Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley

Thanks for reading.

Jason Disley.

Stateside Dreaming…

Those of you who have read my previous posts, know that I am inspired by the Beat Generation. I have mentioned the likes of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg et al in more than one article over the years. I don’t know why I always come back to the Beats. But, I often do. I suppose it’s that identification, with lonesome travellers, mavericks and people who want to dig everything. Get their kicks and be totally themselves.

My first introduction to The Beats, like many was the novel On The Road,

Pan cover for On The Road by Jack Kerouac

It opened my eyes to many things. I was a teenager, I was discovering my own taste in things. Because of this book I really began to appreciate Jazz, I also understood the need for kicks. I had yearnings, and wanted to live a life that was exciting, where I could appreciate everything that I experienced. Now, the point of this blog post today, is that since last Monday, whilst staying at home thanks to the Covid 19 Pandemic, I have been sorting many things out at home. Getting rid of junk, and whatnot. I found in in a shoebox a stack of papers. Some of which were half finished stories, others were original poems – all written twenty or more years ago.

One was the start of a short story or novella. I haven’t yet decided what it will be just yet. But, upon reading what I had, I found that I had a desire to rewrite it. The project I have subsequently called: Stateside Dreaming

It is the tale of a young man living in the North of England, who wants to experience America. He has a mundane, low paid job, he is an avid reader and more importantly a dreamer. He is also obsessed with the novel On The Road. (Sounds familiar?) Anyway, the tale opens with him quitting his job, and spontaneously heading off on his journey of discovery. The story then descends into a number of dreamlike episodes, some are disjointed like dreams can be, some are nightmarish, others are clear and focused reinforcing his ideas and decisions.

Whether the project will have legs. I don’t know. But, for the moment I am inspired to work on it, whilst also working on other things.

Stateside Dreaming, Jason Disley’s new writing project.

The main thing when you are staying at home, is finding other ways to travel, and, this is mine. Stay safe, and look out for a new article next Monday.

JD.