Pop Versus Subterranean

The book cover design.

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.

Jason Disley poet.

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.

Pop Versus Subterranean the new book by Jason Disley

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.

Here is the title poem. Pop Versus Subterranean:

The title poem: Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley

Thanks for reading.

Jason Disley.

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

News: Modernist Beat @ Stanza Extravaganza

My first headline gig after just over a year of performing!

Yes I am honoured to announce that I will be headlining at this month’s Stanza Extravaganza at the Artizan Gallery in Torquay, Devon. I will be reading a selection of poems from my new collection Songs of Benevolence & Rageplus other poems from previous collections with the addition of music. As well as my performance there will be performances from a number of local poets. Providing an eclectic mix of wonderful spoken word. For me this is a landmark opportunity as I never imagined a couple of years ago that I would have reached this point – or even have the confidence to do such a thing. Yet- here I am! Inspired by Beat Poets, I am actually following their lead and sharing my work not just through a written page – but actually by standing up and sharing my words in a much more resonating style. Robert Garnham has called me a ” laid back” performer. This maybe so as I am not a shouter – but I do like to think that my passion is evident in my words and delivery. Music plays a big part in my work. This will be evident on this evening as it is something that those who have seen me perform are aware of. Here is a video of one of the poems from my new collection:

This particular evening will also serve as my official book launch for Songs Of Benevolence & Rage

Which you can buy here:
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

February News! Modernist BEAT:

Well! Things are getting more exciting- I have my new collection of poetry out now and it is currently available at Lulu.com

It is a collection titled: Songs of Benevolence & Rage. It is my sixth collection and will be available via other online retailers soon. If you are interested in any of my work feel free to contact me via the contact page on this site.  This collection is a book in two parts and has a foreword written by Robert Garnham, a very well respected performance poet, who has performed extensively throughout the UK as well as New York and Germany.  Here is what Robert has to say about the book:

“This is a fantastic collection of heart and feeling, which leaves the reader genuinely uplifted. Jason finds joy in the world in spite of his rage, and, as he writes, ‘I do not look to the future, nor back in anger, I breathe the now’, which is as good a philosophy as any. It’s great to know that the spirit of the Beat poets, the jazz mystics, the dreamers and the believers, is still going strong in the work of  Jason Disley. Luxuriate dear reader in this book, and let him take you to ethereal places.”

Robert Garnham

 

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Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

 

I also have had the real pleasure of continued work on my forthcoming collaboration with Rick Blackman on the “Speakeasy” spoken word album. I am thrilled to say that it is heading in a very real and exciting direction. With contributions from other writers and artists whose work I greatly admire. I wish I could say who they are  -but at this point all I can say is this album will be very different and will have a great international feel with a 1960’s vibe. Once the final mixes are in the bag -I will obviously share more information here.  The Speakeasy album is a real collaboration with my poetry being at its core -but, is vastly enhanced by the great music and the scene it depicts.

 

Other news is that I will be performing a slot at Stanza Extravaganza which is held at The Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street, Torquay once a month on the 26th. At this event I hope to perform one or two poems from my new collection and maybe another piece I have recently written.

Two days ago I had the pleasure of meeting The Vinyl Avengers at one of their enjoyable evenings of  Mod, Soul and Ska -and was asked if I would like to perform at one of their events this coming Easter. Naturally I said yes -the performance is for a cause that is one that many will see as worthwhile. The Teenage Cancer Trust. Every year those who enjoy the Mod scene will know that each March nationwide there are events to raise money. These events are called  The March Of The Mods, and this will be my second time appearing at one of these events. The  first being last  March in Paignton where I read my poem Down At The Flamingo with the fantastic Mod Anthem Green Onions playing in the background.  To be asked back again is  rewarding.

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That’s all for now. I will share more news next week. Feel  free to contact me for any more information. Jason Disley