SOUTH KOREA 2006

In 2006, after ten years of marriage and a looming divorce, he flew to South Korea. He created a good face for the job. A good face is the key.

Love? Yes please!

Doraji doraji doraji! I walk over the pass where balloon flowers bloom. Hey-ya, hey! An ya hey say yo! I walk over the pass where balloon flowers bloom. Hey-ha hey! An ya hey say yo! Reminds me of mother and twinkling boys. Hey-ya, hey! An ya hey say yo!

Here is an excerpt from Never Mind the Beasts, available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

from Never Mind the Beasts by Marcus Slease. Image: Figuras fantásticas a caballo by Leonora Carrington

THE DOCKLANDS

Don Whiskers and Pineapple live in the Docklands, East London, in a council flat. They visit the river for ancient histories. They take the Mega Bus in the Mega City and visit Amsterdam. They stay on a boat called The Gandalf. Back home, they stand on the balcony from the cheap seats and look at Morgan Stanley and HSBC with glowing red lights. They find shiny dinosaurs among the monuments to finance. The monuments are too removed from the human hand. Bring back the human hand. They use their human hands to collect clippings from plants and grow them with superfood. They want them to grow big and strong.

Here is a reading from the Docklands section of my debut novel Never Mind the Beasts, available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

The Docklands by Marcus Slease

BORA

While working in Trieste as a dog walker, and trying to become a writer, he imagines James Joyce, middle class or higher, like almost all artists and writers. He does not have the advantages but also the advantages, coming from somewhere else. You can only do so much, but how much.

The bora howls and howls. His relationship is failing. She wants the product and he wants the process. His wild horses are running away from him. Looking out to sea at Piazza Unita. A nomadic existence, but also stability. Trying to juggle them, like everyone.

Here is a reading from the Italian section of my debut novel Never Mind the Beasts, available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

“Bora” from Never Mind the Beasts by Marcus Slease

YOUNG LOVE

He took a long time to do it, or at least a long time for some. After the mission, at age 20, he went back to N.Ireland and England, tried on a condom at his cousin’s house, just for the fitting. He wanted to become bohemian and watched Pulp Fiction at the theatre.

He met a young woman from Australia and she told him about doing it, and when you do it, you miss it, and he missed it, even though he hadn’t done it. Then he went to college, at Southern Utah University, worked at a call centre selling Burpie seeds, and before he knew it he was married. They read the patriarchal blessing. They felt the burning in their bosoms.

They moved to Bellingham, WA and then Greensboro, NC. Then, after ten years, the divorce and leaving the United States of America forever for a nomadic existence. No more alien card.

Here is a reading about those years of young love, from my debut novel Never Mind the Beasts, available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

from Never Mind the Beasts by Marcus Slease

THE TRIAL

After returning home early from the mission, I had my first sexual experience, it was called docking. I took off my secret garments and attended the trial, in a big wooden room. The devils were coming.

I couldn’t return to my job at the mercantile. Every job interview in the small town asked me if I still believed. But eventually I found a job, in a nearby town, as a shoe salesman, at J.C. Penny, and began dating and attending Jr College dances, posing on haystacks, trying to make myself into something different.

Here is a short excerpt from my novel Never Mind the Beasts, available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

THE HOLY MISSION

My debut novel, Never Mind the Beasts, has many movements, from many lifetimes and many countries. When I lived in North America, I lived in many states, both physically and mentally, and you might also say spiritually. I went on a holy mission (from 1993-1994) to Boise, Idaho. Age 19-20. But I returned home early, took off my secret underwear, and much later revealed the secret handshakes, and even my secret name. I am supposed to be disemboweled, and also beheaded, according to the signs I made in the secret chambers, but it hasn’t happened, maybe it happens later, after my death, before I am sent to outer darkness for denying the holy spirit. I don’t believe it, but it still scares me.

Here is an excerpt from Never Mind the Beasts. The holy mission and returning home early. This is a true story:

COFFEE HALL

Worzel Gummidge is on the telly. The father has a new calling in the new church to convert more converts, and also a job in London, driving a train in the underground. There is also Bletchley, a swimming pool with a slide, and hot chocolate, from the machine. He learns how long to brush his teeth, and also his talent for reading, but he is not allowed to watch Jesus Christ Superstar. The wrong Jesus. He is not a rock star.

An excerpt from my debut novel, Never Mind the Beasts, now available from Dostoyevsky Wannabe. This except takes place in Milton Keynes England, in Coffee Hall. It is the 1980s and the family has just been converted by Mormon missionaries from America.

NEVER MIND THE BEASTS OPENING

Never Mind the Beasts, an experimental working class novel, begins in Portadown, N. Ireland, with my biological father, The Troubles, in one way or another, and then the move to London, first a homeless hostel, and then later Milton Keynes, with government social housing. It begins in the 1974 and then moves into the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and beyond.

Here is an excerpt from the opening of the novel:

NEVER MIND THE BEASTS OPENING from Marcus Slease on Vimeo.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Art can help us see and hear and smell and taste and touch with a more attentive mind. And there is so much to explore. Art can help us have a beginner’s mind. Empty and open. Art is my medicine and also my spiritual practice.

Here is an interview, upon the release of my first novel, Never Mind the Beasts, with a discussion of some artistic vitamins and minerals (Norwegian writers and experimental jazz, surrealists, NY School poets, and more).

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Super grateful. My debut novel, Never Mind the Beasts, 10 years in the making from many countries, is now available for ordering. You can choose Blackwell’s or Amazon. Waterstone’s, Foyles, and Barnes and Noble will be added as an ordering option soon.

Here is a description:

Never Mind The Beasts is Marcus Slease’s second book for Dostoyevsky Wannabe and his debut novel. Beginning in Portadown, Northern Ireland during the Troubles, the book details the author’s move with his family, as a small boy, first to Milton Keynes and then to Las Vegas before documenting his further solo travels trying to survive on the meagre pickings of a writer whilst teaching English as a second language in everywhere from South Korea, Poland to Turkey and, latterly, Spain (Madrid and Barcelona).

“Writing actually as love! Marcus Slease’s crinkling, crackling prose is full of sparks, full of troubles, full of wonder. Never Mind the Beasts radiates with the force, brevity and immediacy of stylists like Mary Robison, Rikki Ducornet and Diane Williams. “The demand to love,” wrote Roland Barthes at the beginning of Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes; “overflows, leaks, skids, shifts, slips.” “Writing to touch with letters, with lips, with breath,” wrote Hélène Cixous in Coming to Writing. These are the thrilling, vibratory spaces, movements and possibilities Slease’s writing opens up.”
-Colin Herd, author of You Name It

“Say Lydia Davis and Donald Barthelme had a son, and his life story was painted by Basquiat, and the paintings were ground up into a spice, then used to flavour a crazy-hot dish you just can’t stop eating while the scenery shifts around you: that taste might be something like Never Mind the Beasts.”
-Ruby Cowling, author of This Paradise

“Robust pro aktiv quixotik goes evreewher is from evreewher nouns ar verbs verbs ar yu a nu way uv intraktivitee langwage th narrativ rocks takes yu evreewher thers no conclewsyun its in th going, wundrful a great xperiens ths book.”
—bill bissett, author of Breth

You can order the novel over here: Never Mind the Beasts