If You Get Caught Between Asylum And St. Louis City (I know it’s crazy, but it’s true…)

(Archive Note: This piece was formerly entitled,”On Homelessness and Poverty.”)


There is this crushing feeling that I wake up with. Not every morning, but enough. And in a society like the USA, you are always confusing your masculinity with your money; it happens. You look in the mirror of your greatest accomplishments and wonder, “damn, why not you?” I do any way.


I may not be on your best seller list, I may not even be on any of your twitter lists, but I’m still of Owl of Asylum. If I die this minute, I was born that. I’m not upset. I adore my writing. I love her. But, I did write two books, and two years worth of my thoughts on damn near everything I could allow my minuscule thoughts to feed upon. I found my ark, and I’m still riding it to that majestic pot of naked naija women with huge breasts that don’t worry about MBA’s. Alright, low blow. Just saying, though.


If you are in St. Louis, you probably walk, drive, or metro to St. Patricks’. Personally, I believe Marcel is the best case worker, but in the offshot you guys actually bought that line I gave you about me having a blog…Ray is the best (Jokes). St. Patricks’, for those that don’t live in St. Louis – and readers of mine from St. Louis that I either don’t know, or weren’t that close with – is a Catholic OutReach. It tends to get funding for veteran homeless, basic Microsoft Office training, painting(Broad Dugan class), landscaping, medical and dental programs. I don’t like the food served on the second floor after 11:30 am, but be there before 12:30pm if you really need a meal. Personally, I don’t like doing prison chow halls again, but hey, I ate there long enough to learn to stick around for the food pantry, they got goodies you can sell.


(Editors’ Note: I do realize that there are an estimated 40 residents of the Neighborhood Gardens apartment complex in the Cochran area that are participants in a program provided through St. Patricks’ that provides housing assistance. Although the investigation is currently underway, there is a clause that causes the tenants to go without electricity. Many of these are former homeless and elderly peoples. I have not personally experienced any situations such as this through the agency, but I also haven’t been assisted with housing through them. – J.F.)


That’s not the most subtle segue, but fuck it, that’s the other thing I learned about homelessness, you have to hustle everyday. Naw, hustle, like, there is job, and there is running your own store out of your shoes. I give a damn about your pride, there are things I can’t with sagacity write in this space, but you will figure out twenty for forty. You also will get tired of fast talkers. For every five people I meet, there is the one guy or gal with a deal from Jeezy coming out of prison. I offer my services, my assistance, my dutifulness, but I keep my ears and my thoughts about words being spoken to my Self. This has also taught me to be extremely generous and considerate of the toils others are going through. Whenever I can,(I don’t care how much I disdain long stories), I help out the homeless veterans, the women, and wait, there is so much here, I apologize. Let me slow down…


The women. The Black women are so beautiful. So strong. Any bitch that hate on a homeless Black woman should be stoned. Proud Black Woman, and you know: fuck my concerns about conservative thinking, proud Black Women are the reason Black men still exist. And you see it. I park my car on that potholed side street with the sign suggesting 15 minute parking, and I walk through that black fence, and there they are. And you don’t feel that same dramatic as way you probably feel after reading that paragraph. Laughter.


But you do question the reality. I recognize faces from the prison compounds, and I meet the veterans, and talk with the mothers. I still feel this class satisfaction when I see Black Women coupled(niggas be cuffing down there) with Black Men in a condition that many would believe a Black Woman wouldn’t choose up on a Black Man like that. Being a Black Man is a stigma. Being an ex-felon is a stigma. Being homeless is a stigma. Black Women love Black Men.


I do believe it is due to what I have taken the leisure to adopt as an ideology if it is to be written about and necessarily in need of a nomenclature. And that ideology is referred to as ‘The Open Hand’. The homie left his key in the office that he sleeps in, he needs to sleep in my car. My hand is open; keep yours open when you have something in it that I might need. The dove has a spot to sleep at; nothing sexual, but keep that hand open, these car seats get a might brutal on the neck. Oh, you have a lead on a job that isn’t doing background checks or credit checks? Check.


I am hesitant to claim this as the thought set of everyone that I meet in my travels (those that in one way or another are homeless, or in a destitute situation), but the few that are, have allowed me to swim through what on most moments feels like quicksand. Without that open hand policy, without the network that it creates – so similar in ways to the Underground Railroad – I don’t know how my Karmic account would fair.


Speaking of networks, I also want to mention my good friends squatting in areas I would never disclose. Fuck the Grid. If you are in St. Louis and find you need a sincere community of highly educated and well trained urban survivalist that cater to the homeless, contact me via email at: owlasylum@gmail.com.

Before I leave, brothers, that sister on that corner, that sister in that restaurant, that sister with children that you are kindly boning but not considering her children; they grow up. Please be mindful of woman in financial straits. Insecurities are one thing; slavery is a financial condition. And Black Women and Black Girls were raped as a lifestyle in that financial condition. Homelessness and bills that can’t be met are also financial conditions. Please be mindful of women in financial straits. Thank you.