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 on the morning my mother would 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.

Chapter 1

The likelihood of meeting the person you’re destined to be with is a statistical anomaly. That’s if you believe it’s even possible. Be that as it may, my parents almost never met. When they did, 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.


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 inevitably 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

The craziest artist
maybe retarded
Aj and Arthur
they’ll make me a martyr
save me from this daily revolver
I’m praying to the savior, the father
He’s saying we’ve lost her
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
now where are the dollars?
right there!?
Prepare to be slaughtered
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 Jeffry Dahmer
a knight in shinning armor
if the night was like my armor
why I even bother
it’s lottery and drama
a lot of these
thots that are hot I see
are probably
someone’s momma
its honestly a problem
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.