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Copyright 2014 by A. J. Hayes All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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“Look Upon”

LOOK UPON i can’t get use to typing on stone fingers are bruised purple wrists are deep shades of weary i could return to solitude being the sole thought in the room (was this ever the case?) but this hunger is an orchard of low-hanging fruit and i am all stomach and no mouth where is solace in that? freedom is an eclipse i dare not look upon


CHILLING Chill in the sun, homie—an oxymoron. The sun’s countenance isn’t cold, And though it is in space, That’s not its home. But see, you can go outside yourself and radiate. Man, radiate. Step into the world Wearing your crooked smile— Who can tell you you ain’t awesome? Become confident in your balance. You can walk with your eyes Half-closed. Feel life around you, Rather than sit and view it. Let me high-five your soul, homie. Crack open your peanut shell. Your interior meat is warm with love and goodness. So stop chilling, homie, and radiate!

“Space Womb”

SPACE WOMB Space— in a circle a crying child appears because Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy or Mommy or Daddy did not. I promise my circle that, when others were square with me, to him I will be a triangle—three lines leading upward to a focal point: a period of perpetual growth. Yes, Fatherhood is also a womb.

“Fish Magic”

FISH MAGIC “Twinkle, twinkle Little Fish The stars are not yours to play with. Evolution deemed you fit To frolic between seaweed and algae.” Fish doesn’t have ears and never heard that rhyme of how fish weren’t supposed to climb to the heavens, soaring amongst the stars, traveling on wing-like fins wide and far. Flying fish leap from the sea to kiss the sky—even without legs; salmon defy raging currents to return to their birthplace to lay their eggs. Determination: a spell to see goals through. Fish have this magic, of that I’m sure. And you have magic too; I wonder what powers are yours.

“The Face of Madness”

THE FACE OF MADNESS the face of madness does not stare at me in the mirror it’s the glazed look of the mail lady as she trots along her route in the robotic fashion familiarity mixed with boredom nurtures in civil servants i see madness in the glare of a cop as he slow-rides by me during my daily walk, as if he’s some villain in a john singleton film from the ‘90s i return both stares, my mind pounding with idle threats: “come close and i will chew you up with my lacerating incisors and spit you out my lukewarm mouth, your flesh tasting of bitter indifference” the face of madness is streaked with tears, its teeth drenched in blood

WHY LOOK UPON? I don't claim to be the best poet in the world, and definitely not its best visual artist--I'm not even the best artist in my own family, my brother, DontĂŠ K. Hayes, is an amazing artist (seriously, check out his work at So why do I expose my poetry and artwork to all the world, for it to judge? I believe art (and poetry is a form of art) is an expression. It's not about being the best when compared with other works & artists. For me, it's about expressing myself and my thoughts and ideas in an authentic way. People might think the artwork is poorly drawn, that my poetry is badly written, but one thing that can't be dismissed is the authenticity and sincerity behind each piece. The poems and artwork within are some of my most personal pieces I've ever created. That's the purpose of Look Upon--look upon me as I bare my soul before your eyes and ears. Give a poet a pen, A. J. Hayes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Look Upon further with an art gallery, spoken word recordings and short film at the Look Upon Experience.

About the Author A. J. Hayes is the author of over twenty books of poetry, fiction and fantasy (as A. Jarrell Hayes). His work has appeared in dozens of publications online and in print. He designs t-shirts, buttons and other merchandise for writers & readers. For more info, visit his website at Subscribe to his free eNewsletter for updates on new book releases & events. Members receive two eBooks for joining. Follow him on Twitter: @ajh_books Give a poet a pen

Look Upon  

Art & poetry about personal growth and self-identification.

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