Beatnik Revolution. The New Beat keeps moving on….

Poet Robert Garnham with his copy of The New Beat Generation which he bought in 1996. 20 years before I met him!

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.

October news:

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.

Words of Wisdom and not beating about the Mulberry Bush.

June was a quiet month and to be honest I haven’t had that much to write about until now.

The exciting thing is – life is going in directions that were not even on my radar a couple of years ago. Not only have I published a novel, several collections of poetry and have performed my poetry at various events – I have, as previously reported, worked in conjunction with a great musician and producer called Rick Blackman on recording a body of work that we are both very proud of. The project known as “Speakeasy” is a collection of diverse and interesting poems that represent my writing and what I am about. All of which are accompanied by some truly great music written by Rick.

Like all artists, when you have completed your work-the next step as a writer is to submit your work to those who may be willing to run with your work and give it the chance to get its legs and become available to a wider audience. So in this case various record labels were approached. Imagine my elation when more than one label showed an interest!

Yes not just one but two of a handful came back to me. Reinforcing my belief that what Rick and I have produced has some sort of relevance. One wanted to just put the album out, the other offered a deal that was fractionally more appealing and wants to put out a double a side 45, followed at a later date by the album. Both wanted the format to be on my own personal favourite medium – Vinyl! Now it wouldn’t be right of me to make the formal announcement of the label just yet. As we are still in the early stages. But sometime in the relatively near future I will be able to make that particular announcement as to what record label will be releasing this project that has been such a thrill to work on.

What I will say is that Words of Wisdom and Breathless will be the first tracks to be made available in the form of a 45rpm record.

In other news:

I will be performing at Big Poetry at the Blue Walnut in Torquay on July 12th, and at Stanza Extravaganza at The Artizan Gallery, Torquay on July 30th.

Also August sees some performances that I am looking forward too. Firstly I will be performing at a poetry event at Powderham Castle near Exeter, this promises to be a wonderful day time event in the grounds of this beautiful castle.

Then on August 21st we see the return of Speaky Blinders at Peaky Blinders bar, Paignton.

This evening will be hosted by myself and Robert Garnham who will be fresh from his One man show that is currently doing the Fringe circuit. As soon as we have confirmation of who the headliner is I will let everyone know.

For now I will leave you with a short poem I am working on and hope that this lovely summer weather we have been enjoying continues.

Every waitress has a sad song
Riding a train of thought
Some
People on vacation
Are
Acting at back packing
Thinking they’re
Prevailing whilst exhaling
From the paths they chose.
All of them
Wanting a revolution of contribution

Yes

Every waitress has a sad song.
And so does the Bell boy.

That’s a fact

Maybe the white cliffs of Dover
Will be the rendezvous
For we will meet again
You and I.
I’ll carry your bags
Whilst you sing the blues.
Holding China in your hand.

Yes holding China in your hand.
I will bare the weight of your baggage
As you resonate the waves with your voice.
For that is my choice

Until the season ends
And only the echoes of a sad song can be heard crashing beneath us.

©Jason Disley 2018

May News: Speaky Blinders, Stanza Extravaganza and Jim Morrison.

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.

Jim Morrison

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:

Lizard King

Frustrated dreamer

An unbelievable believer

With concise rambling

Juxtaposed with emotions

Heightened

By

Discord

Sensory overloads

Or

Apathy

Fighting to be heard

Not wanting to be left behind

But

At the front

Pack opens

Contents spill

Like

A trail on a broken path

Stones fly

Whilst Beetles shield their behinds with natures natural armour

The lizard reigns

Basking in darkness

Being misunderstood

And yearning for the

Sleeping Samaritan to awake

What happened to the harmonious

Lessons

That speak volumes

What happened to the honest benediction

That feels like an embrace

Why do my empty thoughts race

Who

What

Where

Why

I need to sit beneath an azure sky

Whilst the rider on the storm

Glides

Then

Maybe

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. 🤓

The First Speaky Blinders night

On April 5th I had the pleasure of cohosting the first Speaky Blinders evening at Peaky Blinders Bar, Paignton, Devon.

It was a fabulous evening which saw the Professor of Whimsy, Robert Garnham, headline with a set of funny and surreal “poems” all titled “Poem” Robert was kind enough to help me host this first of what are going to be monthly events. It’s format was that of Spoken Word, comedy and an Open Mic night.

For the role of host – I dressed the part and turned up dressed to impress in true Peaky Blinder style. I had a grey suit, a tab, rounded shirt and the all important Baker boy cap.

Suitably attired I arrived at the Peaky Blinders Bar, and was pleased to see a decent number of people there for the evening. In fact every table was in use – it was practically a full house!

We had a great variety of performers some regulars from the local Spoken Word Scene, such as Shelley Szender, Samantha Boarer, Marc Woodward, and Andy Brown. All very well respected performers. Then we had some comedy from a gentleman who was visiting from Hong Kong! We also had some one liners from Steve Bloom. And in the second half of the evening even the Peaky Blinders Bars landlord Jamie Devon go up and shared some of his Pub humour. It was a roaring success for a debut night and can only go from strength to strength.

Preparations for next month’s Speaky Blinders are being made and the Headliner for the night in May will be announced soon. I also hope to perform some poetry with the addition of music at the next one.

So, By the order of the Speaky Blinders – I expect if you’re in the area – that you will be there. There will also be open mic slots available for those who wish to take part.

Keep yours eyes open for further announcements. JD.

Robert Garnham with Jason Disley

News: New Spoken Word – Open Mic night. Speaky Blinders

Paignton, Devon has a new evening for your diaries: In conjunction with Peaky Blinders Bar, Paignton a night of entertainment is on its way, a night that will deliver the best in spoken word, and comedy as well as offering opportunities to members of the audience to participate. The first evening will see the Professor of Whimsy Robert Garnham headline, and will include performances by myself and other poets. The plan is to have some great poets headlining each month and for this night to become a regular fixture that will offer a truly diverse range of styles. Expect frivolity and the emotionally moving in equal measure – expect off the wall and the surreal, dark and passionate ramblings – expect to be entertained. Speaky Blinders – Spoken Word at Peaky Blinders Bar, Paignton

So by the order of the Speaky Blinders – get yourself there ,

April 5th 2018.

Here is a poem to whet your appetite: Round The Corner

Yes

That’s
Right
Give me another
Cup
As I express
Those feelings that
Matter.
Joy
Contentment
Love
Peace
And nourishment for the soul.
Brought about by the experience
Of all that is
For life can be tailored only by you.
It can be cut from the finest cloth
Or woven by threads that are coarse and crude.
But what do I know?
My that’s nice.
Just the right amount of heat.
Frothy with the steamed milk moustache
I embark
On another
Caramel coloured reverie
Sprinkled with a dust of something
dark.
What will spring to mind next?
I fold the paper and place it on the empty seat beside me.
Knowing that although danger could be round the corner
I am ready to enter the Lion’s den
And
ROAR!
Jason Disley (March 27th 2018)