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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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My sister says drinking is not good for you / It changes your whole personality

You donít need to drink / But I still drink cause I donít have no problem




Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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A Drunkard in Denial


By Marvin X


I am a drunkard in denial

I donít have no problem

Iím doing fine

I talk with my children and my woman

So I donít have no problem

My children say daddy please donít drink

My woman say man please donít drink

But I drink anyway

Cause I donít have no problem

My sister says drinking is not good for you

It changes your whole personality

You donít need to drink

But I still drink cause I donít have no problem

I flipped my car into the ditch a few weeks ago

It was all over the news

Car found in ditch no driver found

I had crawled out and walked home

Donít know how I walked home

Donít know how my car got into the ditch

Canít remember nothing

But I donít have no problem

Been drinking forty five years

So why stop now

I ainít got no problem

I drink when I want to drink

If I donít want to drink I donít drink

They say Iím an episodic alcoholic

I can do with it or I can do without it

I donít have no problem

After all, I practice harm reduction

I pay my rent, buy my food, wash my clothes

Even take a bath now and then

So I ainít got no problem

What are you talking about

I canít go nowhere and have a drink in peace

All my drinking buddies is dead

But I ainít got no problem

Hell, itís lonely without my drinking buddies

But I ainít got no problem

I only drink sometimes when Iím happy or when Iím sad

But I ainít got no problem

Or I drink when I get the writerís block so I can get unblocked

Ainít got no problem

Used to drink white port and lemon juice

Then Silver Satin, Golden Spur

Rainer Ale that Green Death

Then moved up to Hennessey Separators

Yeah, they separate yo mind from yo body

They separate yo money from yo hand

Watch out for them separators

But I ainít got no problem

After 45 years of drinking

Do I have a liver

Do I have a kidney

Oh, I want a transplant

Will somebody give me a transplant

Since I fucked my kidneys up drinking

Will one of my children give me a kidney

Maybe my woman will give me one

She loves me she say

Maybe one of my drinking buddies will share their kidney

Like we shared that Night Trane and Cisco

But I forgot, all my drinking buddies is dead

I miss them so much

Let me make a libation to them with this Henessey

Ops, not too much on the ground now

This shit is too expensive

Letís be real!

I even started a theatre for drunks called Recovery Theatre

Iím the drunkest one in the theatre

The City tried to give me money for my theatre

But I was too busy getting drunk to write the proposal

But I ainít got no problem

Getting drunk was more important than writing for a $l00,000 grant

To save my ass and other drunks

But I ainít got no problem

Drunks lying all outside my theatre

But Iím too drunk to let them in

But I ainít got no problem

Will somebody help me?

posted 20 June 2005

Marvin X is founder of San Franciscoís Recovery Theatre in the Tenderloin, located at Theatre St. Boniface, 133 Golden Gate Avenue. Thousands of Bay Area addicts and alcoholics saw his docudrama of addiction and recovery One Day In The Life. In the ten years since he began his recovery, Marvin X has written five books, including Love and War, poems, 1995, Somethin Proper, autobiography, 1998, In the Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays, 2005 and Land of  My Daughters, poems, 2005. On June 10, 2005, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Black Books Exposition. For talks/readings, call 510-472-9589.

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family thatís about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrinaís inexorable winds is the voice of Wardís narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her familyís raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brotherís ďblood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.Ē Her fatherís hands ďare like gravel,Ē while her own hand ďslides through his grip like a wet fish,Ē and a handsome boyís ďmuscles jabbered like chickens.Ē Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isnít usually just metaphor for metaphorís sake. She conveys something fundamental about Eschís fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, whatís salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.óWashingtonPost

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Hopes and Prospects

By Noam Chomsky

In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forwardóin the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest "real progress toward freedom and justice." Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. "This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the worldóto millions, I suspectófor the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." óJohn Pilger

In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism . . .the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us.ó
Publisher's Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Boisí Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 31 July 2008




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