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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
At last I am taking things up a notch! Finally with a webstore at http://www.beatnpress.co.uk my books are available (subject to availability) from me direct.
It has been my intention to expand my publishing endeavours, albeit in a small way. With my books of poetry available, and selected publications by other writers on the Beatnpress imprint – I hope to see things expand, Books that interest likeminded people, usually associated with music in some way.
New stock will be added in the coming weeks, and announcements will be made on this blog which is linked to the site.
The first book to be published by Beatnpress that isn’t written by Jason Disley will be a memoir written by a Superfan of one of the most popular Reggae bands in the world. UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy was originally self published in 1995, and after losing a battle to cancer, her husband, Andy, asked that I help him reissue it as a tribute to her, and, as a way to raise money for St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton.
Naturally I felt honoured to be asked to help, and I have to say, the book is such a great read! With a foreword by Robin Campbell one of the founding members of UB40, and an Afterword by UB40 band member Martin Meridith. This book gives a personal insight into teenage obsession, and the way in which Music can shape a person’s life. The highs, the lows and sense of adventure permeates the book.
More details and the official launch date for Tanya’s book will be announced soon.
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.
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… “
It’s a been a while – because life sometimes gets in the way. However, such breaks can allow for ideas to germinate and for inspiration to hit. Firstly the news I have is that the second Speaky Blinders is happening on May 24th. It is going to be headlined by the very exciting Jason Vegas Butler, a Spoken Word wizard who has been successful on the Slam circuits. The evening will be hosted by myself and so far -there are some great poets lined up to perform -with open mic slots also available. Jason Vegas Butler (Headliner at Speaky Blinders)
Amongst the poets there will be spots by Robert Garnham, Melanie Crump, Charles Hopton, and the comedic and surreal Steve “O” . Other performers will be confirmed on the evening, but with the standard of those that came to the first evening. Rest assured you will be treated to a very entertaining night. So by Order Of The Speaky Blinders I hope to see you at Peaky Blinders Bar, Paignton, Devon on the evening of May 24th.
Fast forward to Tuesday May 29th.
It’s Stanza Extravaganza time again. This month it is being headlined by the awesome Ross Bryant , whose delivery of spoken word is both breathtaking and marvellous in equal measure. The night’s host is yet again, the charismatic and lovely Shelley Szender.
Now to some inspiration and a man whose work I admire: Jim Morrison. As many will know, he was an American poet, Rock Star and a tortured individual. His looks, antics and songwriting have made him a legend. I have been an admirer of his writing ever since I was about thirteen years old.
I recently wrote a poem about him. His writing has inspired my style of writing every bit as much as the writing of the Beat Generation writers. I am not sure why I wrote it. It came Spontaneously and I thought I would share it with you. Here is the poem:
An unbelievable believer
With concise rambling
Juxtaposed with emotions
Fighting to be heard
Not wanting to be left behind
At the front
A trail on a broken path
Whilst Beetles shield their behinds with natures natural armour
The lizard reigns
Basking in darkness
And yearning for the
Sleeping Samaritan to awake
What happened to the harmonious
That speak volumes
What happened to the honest benediction
That feels like an embrace
Why do my empty thoughts race
I need to sit beneath an azure sky
Whilst the rider on the storm
Another door will open
Welcoming and wide.
Jason Disley (May14, 2018)
Jim Morrison is often quoted and here is one that has been attributed too him.
Now, like many things he would say – controversy would often follow. Whereas this quote isn’t one I totally agree with -as poetry can often have something to say – I also agree that poetry can open doors. It certainly has for me! Anyway I recommend that if you haven’t read his work, or listened to his music you should. There are some literary gems amongst his poetry and lyrics and maybe he can inspire you as much as he has inspired me. 🤓
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of performing at the Torbay March Of The Mods where I performed five poems all accompanied by music. March Of The Mods is a wonderful charity event that takes place all around the country throughout March. It raises money for The Teenage Cancer Trust. So naturally it is an honour to be involved.
Billed as “The Beat Poet” I read five original poems:
Firecracker On My Mind
Hobo’s and Tramps
Down At The Flamingo.
This last poem is a firm favourite of mine.
It’s about those who used to venture to the famous Flamingo Jazz Club
In the 1960s. Which was situated on Wardour Street in Soho, London. One of the resident performers at this time was the incredibly cool and popular Georgie Fame
who like the Mods and American GI’s that used to frequently go there – was a huge fan of jazz, r& b and ska. Consequently it was a melting pot of all that was exciting in a post war Britain. Multiracial, happy and free to enjoy all that was great. This was the “Modernist” time. And that is what my poem conveys.
Here is my poem Down At The Flamingo
This poem is in my book Jazz Poetry – Improvisations in Language.
Those who know me – know I am a fan of Jack Kerouac and the whole Beat Generation idea of cool.
My poetry has many moments of Beat style homages and a naked yearning for that coolness that is lauded through rose tinted glasses and the smoke filled, Jazz loving hipness of that era of the fifties and sixties, when Jack ( Kerouac) and his friends Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and other like minded souls sought out to find a meaning to life that was different from the way that the US establishment lead the rest of the world to believe life was, ( The American Dream) that was often portrayed as candy floss, station wagons, bubblegum and the nuclear family of : Husband, Wife and two point four children – living conventionally- the wife and mother being the house wife. The husband and father going to the office while the children went to school and perhaps played sports at the weekend. So they the “Beats” sought to show how life was not that seen depicted in a Mad Men advertising brochure but was in equal parts full of light and shade. Vibrant colour and the blackness of the horror’s that real life could bring. The post war realism and the idea of the Cold War leading to a common hysteria of an actual Atom Bomb hitting America. These writers acknowledged that hysteria and basically stuck two fingers up at the establishment and felt ” If we are going to die – at least let’s do it while having a good time!” So seeking kicks and a life full of experience, knowledge. and later a sort of spirituality they made their marks. Kerouac eventually gaining fame for the ultimate road trip novel On The Road, Ginsberg for Howl, and Burroughs for works like The Naked Lunch and Junky they paved the way for a way of looking at the world differently. Yes they were hedonistic, yes they could be shallow, drunk and possibly violent – but equally they were thirsty for knowledge in all areas. Whether it be sex, the colour of the sky on a Rocky Mountain peak, the conversations of strangers – the rhythm of a tune played by one of their Jazz hero’s. It didn’t matter. They had voracious appetites- and I am no different. Whereas they read books by Walt Whitman, Nietzsche, Baudelaire etc. I read the works left to us by the Beats- but like them I want to find wisdom and knowledge from other things also. So I read, write, converse with friends and live as full a life as I am able. For The Beat is not dead. The Cold War has returned. Spy scandals with Russian spies are back. The US and North Korea are attempting to cool or hoodwink the threat of Nuclear war – Europe is chaotic and my own nation is unsure of what it wants to do with itself. So it’s no surprise to me at this moment in time that I find myself having an affinity with writers, and artists I greatly admire. Their work is as relevant now as it was back in the fifties and sixties. I write unashamedly naked poetry that reveals how my mind works. I write spontaneously and with passion. Is my work any good? Only others can say – but opinions are not what I am after. I just tend to live the only way I know how- and my writing is just simply a part of that life. I dream of living a life full of great experiences and being able to write something that resonates – just how Jack’s work resonates with me. Here is one of my poems I wrote recently, a poem that inspired this article
The Existence of A Deadbeat
My life and the way I exist
Or have I got it the wrong way round?
How I exist and live
I seem to be ambling along on a road
Living a life which
Going round corners
That are not upon the road my life depends –
On the off beat
And the upbeat
Like a movie in my mind
Cool cool moments immortalised
On a screen inside my head.
And all the
The molecules enjoy a drive in
And the neutrons skip and skat
With a pa pa pa
The final credits
Will always roll with the wheels
Putt – putt – putting
Through the imagined
Neon of an indignant indigo night.
For life is a personal thing
Allowing directions to create maps
That are full of the purple haze of
A Hendrix confusion.
Only to be travelled
When eyes are open
And the elements
Let themselves be felt
By the way nature
You may think
I’m a Deadbeat
Or that the
Beat is dead
But I tell you this
Are back again
Actually they never even went.
They just didn’t shout for a while
As everyone else tried to travel a golden
No the truth is
The Beat is not dead
For it pounds in my
And I have the heart to
So use your loaf
And wipe that Grime away
A Jean Paul Sartre style nausea
Is pervading the existence of a society
That is drawing upon
The tales of the past
To create new monsters
That shouldn’t exist.
Unless they are revolutionary.
Jason Disley (March 2018)
If you are interested in my books they are available fromAmazon If you wish to leave any comments about any of my blog posts please do. JD.
Stanza Extravaganza tomorrow night. (26th February 2018) Torquay’s monthly performance poetry night at the Artizan Gallery. Doors open at 7.30 £6 on the door. The headliner will be the wonderful Shelley Szender. She will be joined by a plethora of diverse poets.
Shelley Szender performance poet.
March1st Jason will be performing with other local poets at