Saturday, August 24, 2013

Marvin X offers a healing peek into his psyche by Junious Ricardo Stanton

Marvin X is in recovery and it has not been easy for him. As a writer/healer

he still has  the voice of a revolutionary 


it is a voice

we need

to listen and pay attention to.

Books by Marvin X
Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend /  Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality, How to Recover from White Supremacy, Wisdom of Plato Negro
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Marvin X Offers A Healing Peek Into His Psyche
Review of In the Crazy House Called America

  Junious Ricardo Stanton

Rarely is a brother secure and honest enough with himself to reveal his innermost 
thoughts, emotions or his most hellacious life experiences. For most men it would 
be a monumental feat just to share/bare his soul with his closest friends but to do 
so to perfect strangers would be unthinkable, unless he had gone through the fires 
of life and emerged free of the dross that tarnishes his soul. Marvin X, poet, 
playwright, author and essayist does just that in a self-published book entitled 

This latest piece from Marvin X offers a peek into his soul and his psyche. 
He lets the reader know he is hip to the rabid oppression the West heaps 
upon people of color especially North American Africans while at the same 
time revealing the knowledge gleaned from his days as a student radical,  
black nationalist revolutionary forger of the Black Arts Movement, husband, 
father lover, a dogger of women did not spare him the degradation and agony 
of descending into the abyss of crack addiction, abusive and toxic relationships 
and family tragedy.  

Perhaps because of the knowledge gained as a member of the Nation of Islam, 
and his experiences as one of the prime movers of the cultural revolution of 
the '60, the insights he shares In the Crazy House Called America are all the 
keener. Marvin writes candidly of his pain, bewilderment and depression 
of losing his son to suicide. He shares in a very powerful way, his own 
out of body helplessness as he wallowed in the dregs of an addiction that 
threatened to destroy his soul and the mess his addictions made of his 
life and relationships with those he loved. 

But he is not preachy and this is not an autobiography. He has already 
been there and done that. In sharing his story and the wisdom he has 
gleaned from his life experiences and looking at the world through 
the eyes of an artist/healer, Marvin X serves as a modern day shaman/juju 
man who in order to heal himself and his people ventures into the spirit 
realm to confront the soul devouring demons and mind pulverizing dragons; 
he is temporarily possessed by them, heroically struggles to rebuke their 
power before they destroy him; which enables him to return to this realm, 
tell us what it is like, prove redemption is possible, thereby empowering himself/ 
us and helping to heal us. He touches on a myriad of topics as he raps and writes 
about himself and current events. 

Reading this book  you know he knows what it is like to come face to face 
with and do battle with the insanity and death this society has in store for all 
Africans.   Marvin X talks about his sexual relations/dysfunction, drugs, media
 and free speech, sports, black political power or the lack thereof, the war on 
drugs and the current War on Terrorism, nothing is off limits. He includes reviews 
of music, theater as well as film, but not as some smarter/ holier than thou, elitist observer. 
Marvin X writes as one actively engaged in life, including its pain and suffering. 
He lets us know he was a willing and active participant in his addiction, how it impacted 
his decision making, his role as a parent, his male-female "relationships", his ability 
to be creative within a movement to liberate African people and the world from the
corruption of Caucasian hegemony. 

Marvin X is in recovery and it has not been easy for him. As a writer/healer 
he still has the voice of a revolutionary poet/playwright, it is a voice we need to 
listen and pay attention to. He has survived his own purgatory and emerged stronger 
and more committed to life and saving his people.  As North American Africans 
(his term to differentiate us from our continental and diasporic brethren) he sees 
the toll the insanity of this culture takes on us. His culturally induced self-destructive 
lifestyle choices and the death of his son is a testament to how life threatening and 
lethal this society can be. 

But Marvin X also talks about spiritual redemption, the ability to transcend even 
the most horrific experiences with resiliency and determination so that one 
ets a glimpse of  one's own  divine potential. This book is an easy read which 
makes it all the more profound. In The Crazy House Called America is for 
brothers especially. It is a book all black men should grab hold of and digest, 
if for no other reason than to experience just how redemptively healing and 
liberating being honest can be.
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from, Rudolph Lewis, Editor, Chickenbones

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