This book is a departure from previous publications by Beatnpress – but still has all those ingredients that tick the boxes that make up the Beatnpress vision.
It is full of hope, aspirations, and life. Music is at its core and a personal journey evolves on the page that is as relatable, as it is fascinating. What’s more the book has been produced to raise money for a worthwhile cause. That being raising money for St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton.
The book will be retailing for £21 and has never seen before photos, and a foreword written by Robin Campbell.
Another recent publication is my book Pop Versus Subterranean – which I am pleased to say is, receiving some favourable comments. A collection of Modernist Beat Poetry that explores many topics and the relationship between Popular culture and the underground. From Art – to music, to politics and the Pandemic it is a series of thirty poems that either provoke or inspire.
The first book to be published by Beatnpress that isn’t written by my good self is – in my humble opinion is something to celebrate. It also means that there could be opportunities for other aspiring writers. This new start could mean that a New Beat Generation can be realised. So, if you are an author, a poet, or someone that wants to see their Memoirs in print. Please email email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
I have come to realise that as a writer, there is a style I gravitate towards. I don’t pretend to be highbrow or sophisticated like somebody who went to a particular university, or had a privileged education. I do not have airs and graces. I write about what I find interesting, and entertaining. I weave tales that are not over complicated, but have enough spice (I hope) to turn a page. So, what is it that drives my interests? What is it that makes me return to a genre that is full of those things that so called “polite” society call taboo?
It’s that boyish sense of adventure. I am quite clearly a little immature. I want to be titilated, and experience danger, lust and crime. I want to be the sheriff or the man in the black hat as you would see in a classic Western. I want to be a Gangster, or a super sleuth. I want to sleep with the Femme Fatale, although it could be the death of me – and so it goes on.
Pulp Fiction, is where its at. You escape into the underbelly of life and experience a grittiness that is equally alluring as it is distasteful. The tales can appeal to our most basic instincts. But they also serve as a quick escape from the real world. Where the mundane existence of life seems to crowd in. I think that a great pulp tale from the 20th century provides a portal to life that has a glamour that isn’t as obvious in life today. Interaction between characters is vital, and at a time when distancing yourself from others can be seen as important, so these interactions jump off a page.
So, for me writing within this genre seems a natural fit. I don’t just stick to the formula though. I experiment and provide stories that have enough familiarity that you want to read, but are also different in structure. My Pulp Fiction Poetry for example has a lyricism that helps convey mood, rhythm and a musicality.
Whereas my prose embraces many different genres so as to try and create something original. That is the crux though. How do you provide something that hasn’t been done before? Well you don’t. You go with your instincts. You write about things you are interested in, and hope others are as well. You pick the elements you like, you absorb ideas from around you – on the Internet, in books, on film or even on the radio. Then you regurgitate it in a new way. Taking things forward in the manner that storytellers do.
It’s hard work being a 20th century Pulp Fiction writer in the 21st century. But it continues as an accessible entertainment, and tradition that is there to be enjoyed.
I have written two novels and two Pulp Fiction Poetry collections. This year I hope to complete a third novel and a third Pulp Fiction Poetry collection. I am pretty sure these won’t be my last. It seems I am on a road of my own choosing, where story telling is my thing. So if you want to dig my work check it out at the various online platforms it is available from:
Barnes & Noble
Watch this space for my forthcoming projects – including news about my first non fiction book.
When the Covid 19 Pandemic hit the UK with a lockdown in March 2020. I took the opportunity to self publish the sequel to my debut Novella Seven Day Fool. The novel titled Take It Or Leave It. The novel is a tale set a few months after the end of the first book, and sees the main character develop, and become the reluctant hero I wanted him to be.
I felt that due to lockdown, it was prudent to publish this second novel as an ebook. However, after publication it has not really sold. Naturally I questioned “why?” Initially it was formatting errors and Covid that delayed distribution. In fact despite re-formatting I am still trying to be patient as I wait for this novel to go through the whole global reach process, again, and be more widely available. So, yes. Take It Or Leave It is being more Left than Taken at this moment in time. But, I hope it will not remain so. I am after all quite proud of my imaginative story that puts one man into a situation that is quite profound and different from his life so far. It sees him discover what he is capable of, and his determination to get through to a conclusion that is for him, is satisfactory and just.
The tale pays homage to sixties spy novels, crime capers and the sort of Pulp Fiction I enjoy. With it being set in the sixties I am able to include elements of style and culture that are of that time. For me, the novel is quite cinematic, and it’s international flavour, and Cold War paranoia makes for the sort of thriller that although feels familiar, is just different enough that it achieves to bring to life that era without it feeling corny or a pastiche. The story is not Austin Powers meets James Bond and The Avengers. Its more The Ipcress File meets The Quiller Memorandum with a dash of The Saint in my mind. So, why am I sharing this?
Quite simply I want people to read my novel. Perhaps it’s my own insecurity as we live in these insecure times that has made me write this. I believe in the work I have spent many hours creating. But, without an agent or a traditional publisher – self promotion is the only option at this time.
As with all writers, one thing that inspires us is feedback, whether it be constructive criticism or praise. I want people to enjoy my novel. I want people to say yes – that was a great little tale. But equally, I want to hear where I can improve and develop.
So, please check it out. Maybe read it, and let me know if you were right to take it, or perhaps you feel you should have left it.
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,
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.
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.
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 recently submitted a couple of poems to an exhibition at Artizan Gallery in Torquay which was curated by poet and artist Becky Nuttall and fellow poet Robert Garnham.
I was thrilled to have my poems included in the exhibition which juxtaposed the poetry with fine pieces of artwork.
The exhibition is a fantastic celebration of placing either yourself or the area of Torbay in a celestial place beneath the Moon. The whole nature of the exhibition was open for broad interpretation as all art should be. Provoking stimulus, whether it be memories, places, or
The two poems I submitted were The Echo Of Sea Shore Tides, and The System AKA Grockle Town.
The first, Echo – is relating to life in a seaside town, the microcosm of rock pools, the way life changes with the Tides which are of course ruled by the moon. It reflects how the order of life can be changed, and yet there is always a glimmer of hope even when the natural order has been disturbed.
The other poem was a poem inspired by a film and novel titled The System which was inspired and written about life in Torbay during the 1960s. The screen play was written Peter Draper, who also happens to be Becky Nuttall’s Father. She told me that her father actually coined the term “Grockle” which has since been entered into dictionaries meaning : a noun Grockle: derogatory term for holiday maker usually visiting Devon or Cornwall.
Now I myself used to visit Torbay as a child in the seventies and eighties, before moving to Devon in the nineties. I had seen first hand the way the local lads would charm the holiday makers looking for fun, romance and excitement. I myself upon moving here I will unashamedly admit behaved in a similar manner as I was a young single man looking to have fun. So, when I was given the opportunity to write a poem about Torbay The System came to mind. I have read both the book and watched the movie, and from my own experiences growing up felt suitably inspired.
The poem can be seen on display as part of the Exhibition which I highly recommend, and not just because I have a couple of poems on display there, but because there is a great mix of wonderful art and words on display.
I will be appearing at Artizan Gallery on Monday the 20th of May as part of a Live event that will include music and poetry.
I will be performing poems from my new collection Chaos Reigns Supreme. The poems that are in this exhibition and some poetry from previous collections.
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