Unfinished #1: the beginning
Derek Lassiter

Born the night before the great black out
my father didn’t sign my birth certificate
(some people live in darkness)                               South Bronx, New York 1965


Bundled onto a bus eleven years later
my mother lost hope and sent me away
(some people see an opportunity and take it)         Greyhound bus station, Manhattan 1976


Beat down as a boy I would not submit
my grandmother practiced love in bewilderment
(some people can’t stand to see you happy)           Monessen, Pennsylvania 1976-80


Branded a liar a thief a bastard
one name for every foster home
(some people want to see you sweat)                     Scottdale/Delmont/Leechberg 1981-84


Believing everything knowing nothing
my heart broke and broke and broken beat
(I saw a light where there was darkness)                San Francisco, California 1994-


Derek Lassiter has composed music, written lyrics and poetry (including one book), fronted bands, acted on stage and film, exhibited photography, and created works of multimedia visual art. His latest incarnation is creator of a literary magazine for black gay men called JAMES, which brings together his years of publishing experience with Keyboard magazine, and his intense desire to contribute to the community, both specifically, and globally. An informational website exists at jamesmagazine.com.