James Appleyard is a London-based poet and writer. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Aesthetica Magazine and has been anthologised by Medusa’s Laugh Press.
Suburban Outpost Burning is simultaneously a mediation on loss and a celebration of life. These poems peel away the emotional resonances of grief to reveal its surprisingly life affirming essence. This collection also contains ‘Protection Spells’, a series of pieces that see James Appleyard explore the tumultuous journey of parenthood with surprising and luminous tenderness.
Suburban Outpost Burning by James Appleyard
Poetry pamphlet – 30 pages
Taken from Suburban Outpost Burning…
Remember your childhood
toys, squatting in their box,
half chewed and waiting to be
The road to your house
now bulldozed by fierce blocks of flats,
those dilapidated high street banks
resurrected into gastro-pub glory.
The old newsagents, hobbled by its
half collapsed awning,
its doorway delivering the
earthy smell of fresh newsprint
and sickly whiff of corn syrup
pink gelatine sweets.
and feel the pull
as you wake for work one morning,
leave your home,
step on the wrong train
Talking and Driving at the Same Time Your hands rest on the steering wheel, twitching, pent up, on the brink of running yourself off the road. I know the cause of this excessive sparking energy, plugged-in as the revolutions turn: Words. They take their toll on you, language never comes easy or as a form of relief. But you were always at home around cars. To me the mechanical piston pull seemed like an inexplicable magic. To you the parts drifted into place, fitting with a divine logic, instinctively understood. When you were a child you used to sleep with miniature cars tucked under your pillow. Tiny, shiny sparks of metal, bright colours primary in your mind while your head rested. Cars were the things you held so dear it makes sense then that your car was the vehicle in which you chose to try to drive yourself out of your own life. But now we sit side by side your hands on the wheel, talking and driving at the same time, and me, always the passenger, palms resting on my knees still wondering how long your unquiet logic will keep you going.