Dostoyevsky Wannabe Spotlight

INDIE PUBLISHING, MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, Play Yr Kardz Right

A nice spotlight on Dostoyevsky Wannabe over at The London Magazine by Robert Greer.

Greer describes the presses radical approach to publishing, in both design, distribution, and content:

“With their books retailing at around £5 each, accessibility seems to me an important part of Dostoyevsky Wannabe, and the most obvious comparison for me is the independent record label K Records in 1980s Olympia, Washington. Similarly to Dostoyevsky Wannabe, K Records ideology was based around using the technology of the day to democratise the process of making lots of art, by capitalising on the cheapness and malleability of cassette tape technology. For Dostoyevsky Wannabe, the 2018 version of this vision is to capitalise on the tools of late capitalism.”

The books are so beautifully designed. I feel very fortunate to have my book Play Yr Kardz Right with them. A terrific press with so much creative energy. One of the centres of the literary renaissance of small presses  and record labels. As Greer says, “The common strand between all them is a DIY spirit and an experimental ethic which makes Dostoyevsky Wannabe feel less like a traditional publishing house and more a platform for innovative artists and innovative literature.”

“There are so many that it is difficult to keep up, but it is worth keeping up with them on social media to see what they have going on. Their books are good, and cheap. Buy them, read them.”

Indeed!

The counter culture is alive and well. Cheap and beautiful and mind altering. Long may they live!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS PLAY YR KARDZ RIGHT?

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, Play Yr Kardz Right

Las Vegas had a show on the telly, it was exotic and foreign, hard to imagine, and we were going there, as immigrant pioneers, for a better life, like immigrants and migrants the world over, changing their languages and also adding to the host languages, the big mixing bowl, maybe.

Play Yr Kardz Right, my book from underground press Dostoyevsky Wannabe, is a radical venture. Creative spelling for word textures, in the mouth, and also for the eye. Also the voice is often of a child, although not always, and the child is from another planet, a stranger in a strange land.

Dostoyevsky Wannabe, one of the most vital underground presses in English, made a wee mix tape for the book.

The music is part of the journey. Some of the songs are from experiences as a recent immigrant to the United States in the 80s. Rocky the movie had a song that repeated living in America over and over. It was showy, this new land, and more direct, unabashed, I needed to develop something called gumption. There was also Sugarhill Gang (Jump on It) and it was one my favourites. It made me want to become a better dancer, and maybe, later, learn to breakdance, like so many of the other immigrants in the apartment complex. There are other songs too. Some more recent ones, from living in London, like Grime, and further back while living in the Northwest of the U.S. with the story of an artist from Daniel Johnston, and many others.

There is an outsider artist mentality at work in Play Yr Kardz Right, observing, but also participating from a distance. I think the music of this mixtape gets at some of the tones and emotions of Play Yr Kardz Right. Play Yr Kardz Right is part naive art, but also part of other arts too, a mix of many, a hybrid, not pure, not fully anything, and in some ways anti-poetry, via Nicanor Parra, also primitive, another kind of nomadic surrealism.

Playing your kardz right, the highs and low, good luck, bad luck, it keeps spinning, the wheel of samsara.

 

 

 

 

 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, Play Yr Kardz Right

 

Las Vegas, 1985, maybe August. I am a newly arrived immigrant in the United States of America. First Vallejo in a trailer park and then Las Vegas. Also, from a few years previously, a new religion, Mormonism.

I was almost 12. On the border of puberty with a funny accent from Northern Ireland. Do you want to see the strip, asked my mum. I didn’t know the strip but it was obviously something exciting. My stepdad drove the car, a secondhand Nova donated to us by the Mormon church, to the strip. Needless to say it was buzzing. I was saturated with eye candy. Las Vegas, on the strip, was hyper sexual. It is one of the sin cities in history.  Maybe the premiere sin cities. Circus Circus was my favourite. We ate a very large American buffet. It was cheap, and even cheaper for us since we were Mormon. They wouldn’t make the money back from the slots. We just came for the steak. And also, sometimes, the eggs. American steak and eggs. And then a toothpick afterwards.

In the new Mormon church, everyone was brother and sister. A nice thought. But no one got our new surname right. So my mother was sister sleeze. Instead of Slease. Slease is pronounced like a leasing a car and adding an s. We got the new name when my remarried a British solider in Northern Ireland (and part of the reason for leaving the country). No one knows where the surname comes from. I have felt alienated from it. But also, it’s my name. Your name is the first fiction. Is everything a story? Maybe almost everything.

Here is a story. It is from my book Play Yr Kardz Right:

 

Play Yr Kardz Right is now available from Dostoyevsky Wannabe: https://dostoyevskywannabe.com/original/play_yr_kardz_right

Play Yr Kardz Right Book Launch

MADRID POETRY, MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, Play Yr Kardz Right

Nice book launch last night. Lots of folks scattered around the bookshop. Great chats with fab folks afterwards. Thanks for coming! Thank you Desperate Literature and Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Gud Tymz!




 

PLAY YR KARDZ RIGHT

NOMADIC SURREALISM, Play Yr Kardz Right

MY NEW BOOK, PLAY YR KARDZ RIGHT, IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM THE RAD DOSTOYEVSKY WANNABE.

ALMOST CHEAP AS CHIPS . . .
BUY IT HERE:
HERE ARE SOME BLURBS
“Marcus Slease’s gentle & generous engagements with the ephemera of almost-everyday life, coupled with a variant of bill bissett’s Lunarian English, and a sensuous, curious, cosmopolitan, and compassionate world-view, make this happily humble beautifully-modulated everything collection—without any shadow-of-a-doubt—my book of the year. For 1973 and for 2017.”
Tim Atkins
“Marcus Slease offers a great deal in Play Yr Kardz Right.”
Mike Topp
“These deeply sound-based poems perform the linguistic athletics of English-to-English immigration: ‘I began in uh faild sosighity / with mushee piez / & fried pineappulz.’ This book dishes a sauce of green slime, trailers, ducktails, and fantasy: that of both sex and magic. The titles swirl with pop culture—Pretty in Pink, Body Snatchers, Beaches, Chariots of Fire—making the whole collection hum with non-sentimental 90s nostalgia, playful and pointing at the same time: Ronuld RAYGUN. This book is a delightful, full-bodied, fluid-rich study of how the past still exists in the present: ‘my bag / 4ever / uh rottun banana.'”
Laura Wetherington

Swimmer’s Club Seven Up

INDIE PUBLISHING, NOMADIC SURREALISM, Play Yr Kardz Right

Seven of my current loves over at Swimmer’s Club.

It is hard to choose seven.
They are only seven.

But maybe a good seven.

There is  the Czech nomadic surrealism of Lukas Tomin, the Canadian surrealism of Guy Maddin. Sun Araw, The Seventh Seal, Leonora Carrington, Chika Sagawa. So many greats. What a life!

Check it out:

SLOW CULTURE

INDIE PUBLISHING, NOMADIC SURREALISM, Play Yr Kardz Right

I answered some questions about Why I Write over at Slow Culture. A series that continues what George Orwell started over 80 years ago. A wee promo for my upcoming book Play Yr Kardz Right from Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Very shot minimalist answers about nomadic travel, surrealism, psychedelics etc. Trying to define yourself is like to trying to bite your own teeth, said Alan Watts.

Here is my picture. I don’t normally look this slick!