Chapter 2

I don’t know much about reincarnation, but once out of curiosity, I googled who died the day I was born. Howard Dietz. We have some eerie similarities. Because I’m a Leo, I’ve always loved lions. Howard Dietz is credited with creating the Lion mascot you see at the beginning of every MGM movie. And not only did he die the same day I was born, but it was in the same city! If that’s not enough, he was a writer too. Creepy.

I also don’t know much about my paternal grandfather either, other than he died on July 1st, and by the end of that month I’d be born. You would think that losing your father and becoming one, within such a short time span, would create some sort of balance. But my father couldn’t handle death. Not even new life could lead him from the depression that followed.

My mother hadn’t seen him in days. Miraculously, he came home the morning she’d give birth to me. My parents had an arrangement with their neighbors. They were supposed to drive her to the hospital when it was time. When it actually happened though, they “chickened out” and gave their car to my father to drive instead. Racing from 127th – 12th street through Manhattan traffic on a hot Saturday night in July, they make it without incident to St. Vincent’s Medical Center (the hospital used first on September 11, 2001).

While my father was parking the car, my mom and grandma were getting into a heated confrontation with the security guard. He’s telling them they have to go in through another entrance. My grandmother is yelling, “Can’t you see she’s pregnant!? There’s no time! Her husband is parking the car, we can’t lose him!” My mom is thinking that my dad, with his temper, is seriously going to fight this dude. Just before my dad catches back up with them, the guard recognizes my mom…she works in the same hospital! He then let’s all three of them in, just in time. Crises averted.

At 5:38pm on July 30, 1983 I took my first breath in one of the most artistic and open minded places in the world, Greenwich Village. I was handed to my mother and father by a nurse with purple hair. Then it was back to harlem.

Chapter 1

Have you ever considered the improbability of being alive? Of all the near-death experiences I’ve had, my ancestors made it through just as many, probably more. The earth had to be exactly 93 million miles away from the sun in order to make life on this planet hospitable. Every living organism that existed in the 6 billion years between Earth forming and the evolution of man had to make it through unimaginable difficulty, all in order for your parents to meet.

And like I said, my parents almost never did. When it happened, it was of course a chance encounter.

My Mom and Aunt Phoebe had plans to visit their friend Nancy in Virginia Beach. Nancy ended up meeting a guy at the last minute. An encounter I can only imagine was just as random as my parents’. Because of this, she no longer wanted my mom and aunt to visit, so she basically stood them up.

Not wanting to waste their vacation time, my mom randomly suggested visiting Charleston WV instead. While there enjoying the summer day in front of their hotel, they noticed a group of guys hanging out by a fountain. My mom was way too shy but my Aunt Phoebe was the opposite. She walked right over and started talking to one of them, named Curtis.


My father was one of 14 brothers and sisters, born and raised in War, West Virginia – the state’s southern most town. He and his siblings would grow to resent their country upbringing and began moving to New York City when they became of age. They had family there who they’d spent their summers with as children. My father went to college however in Charleston, West Virginia. The summer he graduated he found himself outside at the city fountain, discussing his plans to finally move to New York permanently.


It was then when a heavy-set, light-skinned, African-American woman named Phoebe approached him, asking, “What’s there to do around here this weekend?” My dad, noticing her pretty brown skinned 5’1 sister standing quietly in the background, invited them both out that evening. He said he’d be happy to show them around, they just needed to pick him up. They accepted his invitation and for the rest of that weekend, the three of them hung out. My mom and dad exchanged phone numbers but she never thought she’d see him again. They ended up keeping in touch and before long they were taking trips to see one another.

After a couple years of dating my parents got married. By then my father was living in New York full time, working real estate in Harlem, and trying to get his record label off the ground. My mother worked for a doctor’s office back in Steubenville, Ohio. My dad eventually enticed her to move to the big city.

Through the lens of history it seems apparent now, but for them at the time, the magnitude of danger in Harlem circa 1983 wasn’t as obvious right away. And like the boiling frog, my father would slowly succumb. He was also in mourning, his father was dying. Most of the time then, he was nowhere to be found. Where he was and what he was doing, we won’t find out until I’m much older. It’s something that would change my family forever.

Fortunately for my mom, her mom who I called ‘Gram’, would soon be forced to visit New York to help. Gram was an unapologetically courageous black women, though light enough to pass for white.

It was right around this time my mother became pregnant with her first child, me.

Anything’s Possible

Maybe I’m heartless,

the craziest artist.

A.J. and Arthur
they’ll make me a martyr
these thoughts are the cost
there’s frost on my collar
there’s sin in the wind
I swim in the harbor
I swear there’s a scare in the air
where are the dollars?
I can fight or I can write
its the right of an author
I’m typing this harder
I might be a monster
the life of Jeffrey Dahmer
a knight in shinning armor
if the night was like my armor
i don’t know why I even bother,
it’s lottery, a drama
a lot of these
girls owe me apologies
they’re probably someone’s momma
its honestly my karma
don’t talk to me about philosophy
unless you’ve got a lot of weed
I’m God’s envy

but Gods in me…

possibly.

Facts & Coping Mechanisms

Okay so, I know it isn’t.
But I’m smoking like it’s my religion,
it’s my coping mechanism.
Drug addiction
due to love omission.
What’s the difference
between a dream and what they mean?
Things remain unseen,
like screams.
The scenes I’ve seen are obscene,
it seems.
Reemerging themes
keep busting out the seams.
Lusting for some things
I’m not supposed to have.
When I told her she got mad.
Is she over it or sad?
No one knows,
I told um tho – I’m bad.
Blame it on my dad.
This game don’t change,
it ain’t a fad.
The rain came.
I was maimed and stabbed.
But I maintained,
my name intact.
Lames complain
but I adapt.
Why is that?
Because everything I write is FACTS!

Humility

Humility.
Are you kidding me?
That’s the fuel they’ll use
to get rid of me.
I’ve got 2 friends,
then again
a few enemies.
Arthur J; the truth, isn’t he?
All they do is shoot, missing me-
but when I’m gone
it’s you missing me.
Too bad you never knew this to be.
New history
proved literally.
This summer I wonder-
who is with me?
Friends tend to blend in to new cities,
they move quickly.
Forgot that we talked,
like who is he?
The truth’s shitty.
If the noose fits me
they’re through with me,
but I’ll win the war
like Ulysses.

The Life of a Poet

People started changin’
I don’t need um
I don’t claim um
Why?
They won’t be at my arraignment.
I
just need to receive my payment.
To me it’s pretty basic.
Your claims seem really baseless.
My aim? Make the reader turn the pages.
When they do they’ll burn their faces.
You would think a furnace made it,
but I wrote it.
The life of a poet.
Why cry?
Don’t I know it.
Survival of the coldest.
Don’t get close it’s corrosive.
Though if
you could hold it,
you would notice
it’s explosive.
Don’t wish, go get; osmosis.
And no,
you can not quote this.
Please refer to the documents noted.
Your arguments bogus.
I keep my art in my heart.
It’s dark but in focus.

Lunch

I think they wanna kill me
but fuck it
whats destined always will be
Everytime I try n find a mind they’re blind
I still see
father forgive me
I’m not really pretty
I’m guilty
without a lawyer to appeal me
Tom Sawyer probably feels me
I write like him
I frighten my friends with my pen
it’s either that or I might fight them
I try to do what’s right
but lifes like wind
changes directions
the only thing that doesn’t change
my name and complexion
Its game that I’ve stepped in
my brain is the weapon
today is the present
I’m christmas with this nonfictiouus story
don’t ignore me because surely it gets vicious
is this a visit
from the second coming that’s predicted?
Well if it is
I hope you’ve hid the kids
I can’t let them niggaz live
kill em all
I’m on a hunt
Build a wall
like Donald Trump
I will not fall
even though
the road has bumps
I know u want to go to lunch
but I gotta work before I eat
ita gonna hurt before it’s sweet
and even when you win
you first will meet defeat
they don’t understand
because there so much thirstier than me
I turned down the lemonade
because I prefer sweet tea
lol

Work Wrote

Different companies wantin me
Keeping riches over bitches
But this is suspicious
No ones in love w me
So how comfortably can I live
When there isn’t anyone but me
How much more can I give
When there’s none for me
It’s a bit of a conundrum see
What I want to be
Vs. what I’m forced to be
Unfortunately is morbid to me
One can’t survive
If I even am alive
In the first place
What’s 1st place in a race,

without an audience

It’s just that fucked up state of mind that it seems like I’m always in

Blame the fucked up schools that they taught me in
Or the fucked up rules that I always bend

I Don’t Think

It must be nice

to end up with the person you like

I haven’t been so lucky

if I’m really lucky they’ll fuck me

but never ever love me

they’ll judge me, cut me, crush me

even be my buddy

but never will they love me

hug me, kiss me, forget me

I wonder if they miss me

Forgiveness

Forgive them

for they live in a system that has them imprisoned

within their existence their mission is fiction

wisdom’s forbidden

this isn’t a vision

it’s a fact

backed by a vivid description

if you didn’t listen

you’ve missed the prediction

which is a wish for definitive wisdom

Totally Over Me Poetry

ok so…

I know that she’s totally over me but the poetry’s the only thing that keeps my soul at ease. And although she holds the key to let me go free she holds me as her trophy. I’m ghostly reminded of my time with this dime chick and it doesn’t take a scientist to see that I’m pissed. How’d my mind miss the signs for this? I guess I was blinded when I was trying to hit. And if it’s a crime, convict. But I think that I’m legit.