Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marvin X on Partner Violence: Lessons for the Goose and the Gander

In the Name of Love, a play by Marvin X, Laney College Theatre, 1981
featuring Ayodele Nzinga, Zahieb Mwongozi and Doris Knight.

Ray Rice, Rich and Troubled (The American Way)

Marvin X wrote a poem called Confession of a Wife Beater many years ago, around
1980. There is a scene in his play In the Name of Love that dramatizes the poem. Marvin recovered from partner violence some twenty years ago but recently he was the victim of partner violence and will need eye surgery when his left eye heals so the lens can be replaced. The woman went to jail but was charged with probation violation. Marvin X is depressed she was not charged with felony partner abuse or elderly abuse. Apparently the DA's office went for her story of self defense even though she had no scratches or bruises on her body, even though when the police arrived and saw Marvin's eye, she was arrested. Marvin feels he was also a victim of gender discrimination. "Surely, if I had attacked her causing severe injury  necessitating surgery,  I would be going to prison. At this point in my life, I not only abhor physical violence but verbal and emotional violence as well. I have written on this matter in my pamphlet Mythology of Pussy and Dick (soon to be published as a 400 page collection of essays on psychosocial sexuality).

Confession of an Ex-Wife Beater
I beat her because she loved me
I beat her
Gouged my fingers into her eyes
Stomped her on the floor
Because she loved my dirty drawers
I beat her
Put my hands on her throat and squeezed
Until her eyes looked like marbles
I beat her
Because she loved me
Because she gave me a child
That looked just like me
I beat her
Because I stood trembling
Watching the child ooze from her womb
I beat her
Because she wouldn’t give me some pussy
I tore her panties off and took the pussy
I beat her
Then said to her, “Baby, I love you so much.
You’re so precious to me, let me kiss you.”
And she let me
Then I beat her for letting me
Because I was drunk
Too much rum
I beat her
Too much weed
I beat her
Too much coke
I beat her
My you are so precious to me
I beat her
My I love you so much baby
I beat her
Because she was faithful
Because she was patient
I beat her
While my child stood terrified
I beat her
Kicked her
Sat on her
Punched her in the mouth
In my madness
Because she said the wrong word
Because she said nothing
Because she said the right word
Because she said too many words
Because she had a thought
Independent of mine
I beat her
Knocked her too the floor
Because she called the police
I beat her
How could she call the white man on me
As Black as I was
I beat her
Because she called her mama
I beat her
Because she called the operator
I beat her
Because she picked up the telephone
I beat her
Because she left me and I found her hiding in the closet
I beat her because I took her to Mexico and she wasn’t happy
I beat her because I took her to New York
And she didn’t smile
I beat her
Because I was sick
And she told me so.
I beat her.

I Shot Him

I shot him
Because he loved me
He loved me so much he came home smelling
Like his other bitch’s pussy
I shot him
I didn’t kill him
But I shot him
Because I got the phone bill
And saw he’d called his other bitch
On my birthday
I shot him
Cause I got papers on him
Yeah, I got papers on the motherfucker
To use his filthy language
I shot him
And I ain’t sharing him with nobody
I don’t care what the Muslims say
Bout a nigguh can have four wives
I don’t care what the Holy Qur’an say
I don’t care bout the African tradition of polygamy
I don’t care how many mo women it is for every man
I shot him
I don’t care if women are turning lesbian and bisexual
Cause they don’t want no man
I want my man. I love my man
But I shot him!
--Marvin X, from In the Name of Love, Laney College Theatre, 1981

Partner Violence and Spirituality
By Marvin X

"I beat her because she loved me."— mx

Any semblance of partner or domestic violence is antithetical to spirituality. No person who beats another can claim spiritual consciousness, rather they should claim animal consciousness. And no matter what any scripture says, I say domestic violence or partner violence must be outlawed totally and absolutely, no matter where it exists anywhere on the planet earth, simply because it does no good whatsoever, and ultimately drains the sand out the hour glass of love and respect between human beings.

It has a traumatic effect on the mate and children, thus it must be avoided at all cost. To beat another human being is the height of savagery and men, in particular, must rise above savagery and step up to their divinity.

I speak as one who was such a savage and it was all to no avail. In the end, the sand was indeed drained out of the hour glass of love and respect. I subjected my family to great pain, literally, and suffering, and many times it was due to my altered state of mind, i.e., drugs and alcohol. Too much domestic and partner violence is initiated when one or both partners are in an altered state of mind, so we must be advised to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

You know the ritual: even before the first drink someone is angry, then the drink, then another and another until the wrong word is said and its on. But the alcohol was the devil who forced up old issues that were supposedly resolved, old pain, wounds, treachery, sexual improprieties, money, anything, even jealousy between mates, or some other evil thought or suggestion due to the altered state of mind. Yes, loose lip sink ships, and we can be very loose with the devil juice or some other drug that diminishes any possibility of anger management.

Before we know, what started out as a beautiful evening turns into a nightmare: blood is flowing, bones broken, police in the house, somebody goes to jail, another goes to the hospital or morgue, children are taken to child protective services. The mental damage is irreparable.

I wrote a play (In the Name of Love) about my madness which my ex-wife and daughter came to see. After the play my daughter asked me why did I need to tell all that stuff about how I beat her mother. I told her it was for the healing of myself and the community.

Years later I gave a reading and my ex-wife was there. A poet requested I read the poem about domestic violence (Confession of An Ex-wife Beater, see Dr. Julia Hare's How to Find A BWM, chapter, The Violent Male) that was in the play. At first I resisted because the poem had been in the play that my wife and daughter had seen, and since my ex had come to the reading to support me, I certainly didn't want to upset her. But the poet insisted I read the poem, so I did. And it did indeed upset my ex--when we got to her house, she claimed she'd never heard the poem before. I couldn't convince her that she had, and furthermore, she said I had never apologized for beating her, so I apologized, and of course it ruined our evening since her suppressed memory was jolted. But some healing occurred so I thank the poet for forcing me to read the poem, Lamont Steptoe.

We can't imagine what we do to each others psyche with partner violence, let alone what it does to us physically. And things go from bad to worse, so if we don't' get started we won't need to stop.
I suggest therapy at the first sign of physical violence because it is possible to save relationships with therapy before police or relatives intervene.

Dr. Nathan Hare suggests couples need not break up due to violence, but I say it is unacceptable and must not occur for one moment because things go from bad to worse, and certainly, people professing spiritual consciousness must be above physical abuse, although emotional and verbal abuse is just as bad.

We are a people in need of much healing before we can come together, far too many times we come together and don't know a damn thing about each other, then all hell breaks loose, we discover we're in the house with a monster, a devil, a beast. Then we have babies by the monster, the beast. And it's possible we're both monsters, neither one can claim a clean bill of health.
But let us renounce violence at the outset, then proceed to process the emotional issues, since we know we come together far from a state of divinity and have much healing work to do before we can claim spirituality.

Partner Violence,
A Pauline Conversion

On the matter of partner violence, Marvin X long ago experienced a Pauline conversion, similar to how Saul suffered a conversion on the road to Damascus and transformed into Paul, the champion of Christianity. Marvin's conversion was not religious but perhaps spiritual for he has come to recognize women as spiritual beings in human form, thus they are not to be treated lightly or rather roughly.

He has well documented his domestic violence in his plays and poetry, especially the poem Confession of an ex-wife beater and the play In the Name of Love, Laney College Theatre, 1980.
There is no woman who can say he laid a hand on them in recent years. He rarely argues with women but prefers to stay in the no stress zone. His solution for domestic peace these days is to exercise the language of love, in which he stresses silence due to the psycholinguistic crisis inherent in our use of the English or American language, wherein words are most often misunderstood and lead to violence because we have lost the art of diplomatic conversation in male/female relations, especially when mind altered drugs are involved, especially alcohol, those distilled spirits who soon are no longer still.

Of course women have no choice but to use their mouths in confrontation with men, since they often lack the physical power to subdue men. They resort to verbal violence or emotional violence, a kind of revenge to ultimately win the battle of the sexes.

But the truth is that domestic or partner violence is pandemic, a global nightmare in every religion and every nation on the planet earth. It has become the scourge of humanity, and yet it shall persist until the patriarchal mythological order perpetuated by men is destroyed, yes, all the myths that make females chattel property must be cast into the dustbin of history.

Women who buy into the myth must be detoxed and recover. It is not about feminism or misogyny, but about recognizing the spirituality of all human beings, whether male or female.
As per females, Phavia says it best in her poem Yo, Yo, Yo, "If you think I am just a physical thing, wait til you see the spiritual power I bring." So there is no need to think in gender specific terms but simply think of each other as spiritual beings in human form, thus we are not to be abused, harmed, disrespected, neglected in any way, shape or form, physically, verbally or emotionally.

I have come to hate partner violence with the Passion of Paul. I wish it could be wiped from the face of the earth tonight, though it won't happen until people come into the new spiritual consciousness sweeping the world. For sure, partner violence is part of the Slave System, based on religious mythology, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Yoruba, Rasta. This mythological system lies in the deep structure of said religions, but it must be uprooted or the religions will be uprooted when the people achieve true spiritual consciousness. Of course it is also rooted in the capitalist slave system (Ed Howard term) that debases human beings outright with wage slavery that perpetuates stress leading directly to partner and/or domestic violence. Persons are stressed at not receiving a living wage, then often practice misplaced aggression onto their partner rather than confronting their greedy capitalist boss who has been pimping them to death. In their cowardice, men beat their women into a pulp yet let the greedy boss escape their wrath, while the women have been nothing but dutiful slaves to their husbands, washing their dirty drawers, caring for their children, while often working full time themselves to compliment their wage slave mates.

Only a workers revolution can really solve this problem that entails a redistribution of the wealth stolen by the capitalist blood suckers of the poor. When the economic order is a slave system, the entire society is reduced to such, for all institutions contribute to the whole demonic social economic order.

The education system must be thrown into the dustbin of history as well, along with the other archaic institutions that perpetuate such madness. Children are dropping out of school and shall continue to do so simply because they are smarter than their teachers and parents. They know school is bullshit, a perpetuation of the slave system and they reject it outright. Yes, they are that smart, smart enough not to be hoodwinked and bamboozled by an educational system that is totally irrelevant to the lives they live in the hood. After all, their teachers are trained to only instruct a curriculum that perpetuates the world of make believe.

We feel sorry for the new Mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, who tonight called for 2000 mentors to help Oakland youth, yet help them do what, adjust to the slave system of white supremacy education that robbed their parents of their humanity and spirituality? It is the educational system that has taught our youth they should be treated as chattel slaves or the personal property of each other. Otherwise, why would the boys think they own the girls, or girls own other girls or boys own other boys?

As per women, the tragedy is how they become addicted to partner violence but exercise the typical classical denial of the addicted personality. They make excuses for their mate, even imagine him to be a good guy, even when he has taken them to the edge of death.

It is a sick state of mind and the women in this condition need to be taken to a shelter where they can detox and recover from their addiction to madness, for one human who beats another into submission is mad, insane, a danger to himself and others. And the person who accepts such inhumane treatment is sick as well, quite similar to the relationship, if not exactly the same, of the oppressor to the oppressed. Dr. Nathan Hare says that there can be no master except when one agrees to be a slave.

Yes, we come to love oppression, even make excuses for the oppressor: he didn't mean it, he really loves loves me, I deserved it cause I hit him first or I talked about his mama or his little penis!

The truth is that we have monsters in our midst, men who are drunk on this patriarchal mythology and must be taken to a detox center, and meanwhile the women who are addicted must themselves be taken to a safe place.

Only when they both recover should there be any consideration to the possibility of reconciliation. Only when they discover they are both spiritual beings in human form and must be treated thusly, should they be allowed to come together.

Meanwhile, the community must intervene to help the helpless, especially those women in denial and who wish to continue in their inordinancy blindly wandering on, as the Qur'an says. They are a danger to themselves and others, especially their children who are traumatized as well and then grow up to emulate violent social interaction, especially in male/female relations.

And please don't tell me you love the one you with and he/she loves you, for this is a bold face lie, because you don't even know the one you with and he/she doesn't know you. If you knew you were dealing with a spiritual being in human form, we know you would not abuse them or be abused by them. So you are living a lie. You don't know jack shit about your mate, more than likely you met them in a din of iniquity and had nothing but lust on your mind.

And even if you met them at church or the majed is still no reason to think you know them. The Nation of Islam used to refer to matches as thirty day wonder marriages, for they lasted all of thirty days, long enough to allow the persons to get their sex jones off, then they divorced, thus could not be charged with fornication.

But the tragedy is the amount of marriages that last for years under the cloud of ignorance as I say in my poem You Don't Know Me. There are persons who have been together for thirty years yet are total strangers. They don't have a clue who they are in bed with, but fake the funk, as they say in the hood.

And let us not talk about the golden handcuff syndrome, yes, those bourgeoisie persons who live well heeled to the extent they endure the most wretched partner abuse, yet because of the material comforts continue to endure it, these are often the professional class that includes doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, lobbyists, et al. In their gated communities they live lives more wretched than the persons pushing shopping carts and enjoying rot gut wine.

Again, I am horrified of this partner violence. How naive I was to think because I stopped the world stopped. What kind of bubble was I in? I have a friend in prison who stabbed his woman 16 times and threw her onto the freeway. Just the other day I heard a couple talking downtown Oakland. The man told the woman he was going to sniff some powder cocaine and return to kill her. What savagery is this and how long can this go on?

And the virus has infected our children. Girls 16-25 years old are suffering a high rate of partner abuse. We must jump out of the box of ignorance and wretchedness, no matter the cause, whether mythological, economic, religious, political or whatever.

We must, can and will come into the understanding we are spiritual beings in human form, i.e., divine beings in the image of God and Goddess. Thus we must step up from savagery to civility, from animal to divine, and we must do this now, overnight or suffer a severe chastisement. You see events are moving in the universe at a rapid pace. One need only look at events in the Middle East and Africa. The universe is on the move and if you don't move with it, you shall be removed, fast, quit and in a hurry. I warn you, you must get into the flow of the flow of the universe that is moving toward absolute righteousness, up from slavery and ignorance. Does not your Bible tell you the people were destroyed for lack of knowledge?

For all my violent behavior against the women who loved me, it caught up with me in the drug culture when I was attacked on numerous occasions, stabbed, guns pulled on me, bum rushed, robbed, etc.

As with Job, I knew it was God allowing the devil to teach me a lesson. We know God told the devil you can do any and everything to him but kill him, and so I survived it all to tell you the above words. Hopefully, a hint to the wise is sufficient.

If anything, beat your boss, as a woman who called into a radio station KPFA said to me, "Beat your boss, asshole!"
Marvin X

Campaign Update: Please support the Marvin X Books Project on Indiegogo

You’ve Received a Campaign Update!

Dear Friends and supporters of Marvin X,

Here’s an update for you from the ‘Marvin X Books Project’ team:
Congratulations Marvin X for receiving the 1st Annual Pillar Award for your Eldership and tireless work and pioneering spirit in the Black Arts and Black Power movement, thank you for introducing Eldridge Cleaver to Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, thank you for sharing your journey and testimonies, thank you for teaching us how to fight institutionalized racism and white supremacy with your strong example of self-determination through Black Bird Press, thank you moving forward to educate the masses through theater and poetry even after you got 'White Listed' from professorship in the UC System because you taught THE TRUTH, thank you for rising from the jaws of Cointelpro like a Phoenix to continue the struggle!!! We Stand Strong on your Legacy. Bless you Baba Marvin X. Ase,
-Toussaint Haki Stewart with the Elder Zone. Pan African Family Festival, Oakland, Labor Day, 2014

Marvin  X to be honored at Los Angeles Black Book Expo 
September 13, 2014

"Congratulations! Marvin X, you have been nominated to receive the LABBX Spoken Worlds Pavilion Humanitarian Award of the Year, for unlimited service to the community of Poetry and Spoken Word, educating and enlightening seekers of Truth. For your poignant and insightful works benefiting humanity and for your tireless search for Truth, Justice and Clarity of Thought."--Denise Lyles-Cook, Director,
LABBX Spoken Worlds Pavilion
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Coming Soon: 
Angela Davis and Marvin X
A Conversation 
on local, national and  global events

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