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 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. 😊
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
It’s Noirvember and the perfect time of year to luxuriate in the comfort of your home watching classic movies like The Big Sleep, or Key Largo, maybe Double Indemnity or other such films. Likewise you could read books by authors such Raymond Chandler, Micky Spillane or Dashiell Hammett to name but just three of the great Pulp Fiction writers out there that have influenced the Film Noir genre. Or you could dip into my book –
It’s a great slice of the Pulp genre – even if I say so myself. It has all the ingredients of Pulp Fiction and a good Film Noir. It has characters easily recognisable from the genre. Ruby the Femme Fatale, Johnny – On – The – Spot, and Jack Rabbit Blood – two rival Gangsters, and Aldous Beech the hardboiled detective. But, this book is a Pulp Fiction with a difference. It is written to the rhythms of Jazz, and flows in verse form. It is a form of prose/poetry. Each snippet leads to the next, as each “poem” is read in order – so a film noir reveals itself in the readers imagination. It isn’t poetry that provokes deep thought. It is poetry for pleasure. It’s story telling in a way that is perhaps a little different from your normal book.
I am proud of it, and hope that should anyone buy a copy that they enjoy it. It’s an original tale, but has a familiarity about it. It will hopefully be appreciated like a favourite classic movie or a thrilling detective story.
Since the books release on Lulu earlier this month. I have been performing some of the poems.
It allows me to get my creation out to a different audience. It’s title Beat To A Pulp is obvious. I am after all a poet who enjoys performing. This book is my concept album. It’s full of Jazz and tells a story.
The book is currently in the global reach system and will be available in paperback from Amazon and other online retailers soon There are also plans for an ebook version in the New Year.
If you want a copy for Christmas for someone- to guarantee it’s delivery please order direct from Lulu (see the available at Lulu link above) updates on other retailers will be announced in future posts.
In the meantime enjoy the rest of Noirvember. Thanks for reading Jason Disley.
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.
It was recently highlighted to me that I published my first poetry collection back in 1996. 22 years ago! My outlook is still the same. My first book was a call for a New Beat Generation to emerge – writing profound words that inspire the next generation. Now recently there has been a real renaissance in terms of Spoken Word. There are poems used on mainstream adverts on the television. There are spoken word events popping up everywhere. I even curate my own Spoken Word night with the help of fellow poet Robert Garnham. Our night is called Speaky Blinders and it is a night that is gaining in popularity, thanks to the great venue:Peaky Blinders Bar in Paignton, and of course the wealth of local talent. All wordsmiths with a great deal to say. As Robert Garnham stated – there is a peculiar micro climate in Torbay where the local booming spoken word scene is very much about fun! Well like the original Beats, Beatniks and Mods, Rockers, hippies, and Punks – those that are into the Spoken Word scene are out to get their kicks. These events are great platforms to share messages. Sometimes it’s deftly showing off your skill with word play, sometimes it’s silly and nonsensical, but other times it’s deep, profound and personal. There is a lot of comedy in Torbay, and that’s probably because, at this time we all feel we need a good laugh. An escape from the ongoing debates about Brexit, the state of the economy, education, housing, the National Health Service etc. The Spoken Word scene to me is so diverse – it is magical. People from all ages and backgrounds are there to take part and enjoy it. Not like other scenes, where it is usually the young disenfranchised teen raging against the machine, it as inclusive as you can get. It’s welcoming, it’s not generally descriminate and audiences are prepared to listen. Not that those subjects just mentioned above don’t get included in some of the poems and stories that the local spoken word artists tell. It is rather that for a few minutes an individual can share the honesty of their minds. Their individual thoughts and aspects of their personality. Everyone wants to share who they are to some point. Some rant, some tell sad stories, others are funny, and some are just (tongue now firmly in cheek) bonkers!
As stated in previous posts – I admire the original Beat Generation. Although I may have not travelled as much as those writers, my journey has always been about enriching my life with experience – to allow myself to develop and ultimately find pleasure in as many moments as my life will allow. Is there a Beatnik Revution? I don’t know – but the poetry scene has expanded in the last decade in ways that could be seen as an explosion. There are creative minds getting their kicks with words again. It’s not just the domain of Rappers and MC’s – although it has to be said of course, some of these lyrical geniuses are without doubt great poets. But, its happening. A subliminal rise of spoken word that will always give thanks to the influence of a Generation from the middle of the Twentieth Century. There are great young poetic talents out there, and those that have been writing and spouting for some time. It is truly wonderful seeing them mix and learn from each other. The creativity is bubbling way and those that dare are experiencing some truly magnificent moments.
The last month saw my regular performances at Stanza Extravaganza at Artizan Gallery, and of course Speaky Blinders, where we had the fantastic Exeter based poet Ross Bryant headline. October sees myself doing a few more things. I will be performing at Big Poetry on October 11th. Then on the 13th I will be at the Heavy Soul Records Alldayer in Birmingham. (more news about Heavy Soul Records to be announced soon.) The 20th sees me performing at an event in Paignton thanks to a wonderful poet called Melanie Crump. Then on the 23rd I will be performing and Co hosting at Speaky Blinders – which for one night will become Spooky Blinders, and has the wonderful and haunting story teller Mic B headlining.
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… “