When you give a poet a pen~ A. Jarrell Hayes

Whats a writer without words…

This Holy Grail
Rests upon a waist high
And bathed in artificial
The onlookers stare
As I make my ascension,
Which magical words
I will mention
To open
The doors of copyrighted
My voice is seen,
Not heard —
Shaken, not stirred.
The images I relate
Are audible
Raised from fallen trees
To form ink-blot bodies;
They perform
And take center stage,
Leaving my unresponsive body
Standing unnoticed in the background.
Audience, worship
The creation and not
The creator:
Revere my manipulation
Of dusty old words;
Disregard my lack
Of stage presence.
The world is a stage,
The stage is a show —
Some live for the new
But I survive off
The re-runs that play
In each and every
Audience members’
My poetry is meant
For syndication.
By A. Jarrell Hayes
From the collection Heart and Soul of a Thinker
I’ve known Mr. Hayes for quite some time now…and it wasn’t till near the end of our run as co workers that art and writing became shared passions of us both.  I must say I am refreshed by his work. It stirs up truths sometimes I’m not ready to except. Other times it offers amusement in a time of despair. What it does in a general sense is stir up an emotional or mental reaction. Which most artist strive for..to get a reaction..and to be heard. In true form I had to learn more…for what is an answer if the question is never asked?
I present to you Mr. A. Jarrell Hayes

1)What’s your stage/alias name and how did you come to that name?

My pen name is A. Jarrell Hayes. It’s my first initial followed my middle and last names. I came up with it because I was tired of people mispronouncing my first name, even though it is a quite common name. I decided to go along with a less common name that everybody seems to have no difficulty pronouncing. Go figure.

2) Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

None. I haven’t received any personal advice. The best generic advice I’ve gotten is to keep writing, re-writing, and editing. Even after publication, the book or poem or story isn’t perfect. Keep working and perfecting. Perfection is a journey, not a destination.

3) What’s the latest projects your working on now?

I’m currently working on a novel titled Death of the Good King, which is the last book in the Good King Trilogy. I’m also working on a collection of love poems and a mixtape of me reading my poetry. The mixtape will feature me reading my poems without music or beats, trying to give the experience of a reading with no visuals or extras, just focusing on the words and the rhythm of human speech; trying to take poetry further by bringing it back.

4) What does success mean to you?

Good question. I feel successful, but I know if I try to define success for me it would seem I haven’t achieved success. I’ll have to say it this way: following my own path, though it might be unpopular. Living my life without maliciously hurting others. Success is beyond my writing career; I want to be successful in life. So far, I can say that I have been successful. I’ve walked into the jungle of life and used my machete to carve myself a path thus far. That’s success to me. Standing in a clearing in the middle of a jungle, realizing you’ve made it this far with the help of others and your own strength, and looking at the branches and vines that are ahead of you and not fear them.

5) At the end of the day what do you want people to take away from your work?

I want people to take away from my work the connectivity of the world, nature, music, humanity, poetry, the universe, space, and time. I know that might sound New-Age or whatever, but we’re all in this existence together. There’s no need for greed or hate; only love. I want to foster respect and understanding of the collective existence.

6) What is one struggle you’ve faced either now or in the past?

One struggle I’m currently facing is finding my niche. I really don’t believe in a niche — I believe my writing is bigger than any niche or genre or category can hold. I’m working on bringing in my somewhat eccentric and diverse writing better into focus. Not limiting myself, but knowing what samples to send different outlets or what selections to read during performances and open mics. The struggle is not to show everyone all of me at one time — I can be quite overwhelming — but little by little. And I need to work on patience.

7) “The Recession” has it effected you in anyway? via your work.

The recession helped me out a lot on focusing on branding myself. I’ve started sharing more of my work and have a series of poetry E-books for people to download for free. With all the small, medium, and big publishers essentially becoming more constrained and taking fewer risks, I’ve decided to start my own publishing company in 2010. *knocks on wood*

8) What if ,any, influences you and your work?

On the poetry front, a lot of the spoken word and performance poets have helped influence me — Taalam Acey, Kom Plex, and Olu Butterfly Woods are poets in the Baltimore area that have inspired me. Before I was introduced to their works, Paul Laurence Dunbar influenced me the most: his ability to use Standard English and the vernacular was incredible and I believe highly underrated and underappreciated. There are plenty of other influences in my work, but those are the most influential.

9) What can the people expect from you in the future? (any new direction..old classic etc)

In the future be on the lookout for my still untitled poetry mixtape. I’m definitely going to start writing more short stories, so be on the lookout for a possible collection or E-book download early next year. I’m also going to be in a production of Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf this February at the University of Baltimore. I’m the only guy in the production and it’s full of song and dance.

10) Links to your work and contact info?

My website is www.ajhayes.com and basically has links to everything about me, including my YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages, and the blogs I write. For booking info, my e-mail is contact@ajhayes.com.

Thanks again. Best wishes.



~ by B.A.N. Sheep~ on February 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “When you give a poet a pen~ A. Jarrell Hayes”

  1. Loved your poem–brilliant!

  2. http://artiste7.wordpress.com/ has nominated you for the Sunshine Award!

    Rules to Accept the Award:

    * Put the logo on your blog in the post
    * Pass the award onto 12 bloggers
    * Link the nominees within your post
    * Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
    * Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

    Info from the poetry slam on : http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/

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