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.

Beating the hot weather with poetry and cool jazz along with the return of Speaky Blinders

So, we have been experiencing the best prolonged spell of decent weather since 1976 here in the UK. It has inspired many a writer I am sure. I know I have been writing quite a bit lately. So maybe it’s the happy place good weather can put you in, or in typical British style it gives us another topic to moan about. – “it’s too hot”, “I can’t stand the heat” etc are common gripes. One thing for sure in my life music always puts me in a better place, and Jazz is something that always brings a smile. It moves me. It really does. Some people are indifferent to Jazz, or can’t be bothered to listen properly to the nuances of jazz. To be able to focus on a part of a tune that takes the listener into different places before returning comfortably to its original melody.

For me it is cool jazz and modern jazz that I tip my hat to. I also enjoy bebop. Why? I am not sure. But, I think that after reading books like The Horn by John Clellon Holmes

The Horn by John Clellon Holmes

I have found myself transported into the coolness that Jazz brings. I so enjoy listening to the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Lee Morgan, Eric Dolphy et al that the whole coolness of Jazz has become just a little obsessive. The original Beat writers loved jazz too. So just like Kerouac and Neal Cassady I like to really dig the music, click my fingers in time to the rhythm nod my head or even just dance. It is something that just gets those endorphins going.

Anyway I have recently written a poem that I have simply called Jazz. Its a poem I wish I had written a couple of years ago and had included in my book. Jazz Poetry – Improvisations In Language

A book that is a collection of Jazz influenced poems that includes a Spotify play list. It is a poem I wish to share.

Jazz.

I am Jazz
I mean I am
The embodiment
Of a syncopated rhythm
I scatter
Like acorns on the breeze
I freeze and drop
Like beads of sweat
I dig beneath the skin
Raising hairs from within
I tremor with surprise
And melodic lies
I breathe
I live
I give
Honesty
In note form
Always trying to escape
What is perceived as the norm.
I comfort when the need arrises
Casting out nets to the wisest.
Capturing senses of promise and wonder
Taking listeners out and yonder.
For it is the beauty of
Jazz when
It is understood.
Whether it be through the mediums of brass, hide and wood.
That makes its presence feel good.

Dancing

Tapping

Parping
N’
Harping

Sometimes
Chanting

Even ranting

Messages subliminal or not
I am the music that can make you cool
When you are hot.
An
Evolution
Of sound
That climbs from the underground.
Whilst you are digging for that
Sublime sound.
Yeah
Thatz
Jazz.

©Jason Disley 2018

Speaky Blinders

August 21st sees the return of Speaky Blinders at Peaky Blinders Bar in Paignton.

It really is going to be a blinder! There are, already an amazing group of talented wordsmiths lined up and we have our first female headliner the wonderfully witty Samantha Boarer whose poetry is personal, graphic and often about sex or social inabilities and is guaranteed to raise an eyebrow and a smile. She has recently had her debut collection published by Burning Eye Books Real Grown-Up Women and is a highly recommended read.

There will be more news about events and other projects I am involved in over the coming month. But for now enjoy the weather and all that jazz! Plus Speaky Blinders is an open mic night. So if you are in the area and like to perform spoken word or tell a few jokes please pop down and join us! JD.

The Existence of A Deadbeat and Kerouac style dreams

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

Without end

Living a life which

Takes turns

Going round corners

That are not upon the road my life depends –

On the off beat

The Downbeat

And the upbeat

Digging

New instances

Experiencing something

Every day

Like a movie in my mind

Cool cool moments immortalised

On a screen inside my head.

And all the

While

The molecules enjoy a drive in

And the neutrons skip and skat

With a pa pa pa

Knowing

Knowing

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

Intended.

You may think

I’m a Deadbeat

Or that the

Beat is dead

But I tell you this

Counter cultures

Are back again

Actually they never even went.

They just didn’t shout for a while

As everyone else tried to travel a golden

Mile.

No the truth is

The Beat is not dead

For it pounds in my

Chest

And I have the heart to

Prove it.

So use your loaf

Daddy “O”

And wipe that Grime away

For

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.