Madness: A Form of Love by Max J. Lewy
Realistic Poetry International
When we first read the title of Max. J. Lewy's peculiar collection of poems entitled, "Madness: A Form Of Love,” the title, alone, was enough to pull us in and provoke our curiosity. For madness, in most scenarios, refers to ‘mental illness’ or incapacity, which, to our surprise, is one of the central themes and topics discussed throughout the book.
We find by the imaginatively detailed poetic accounts that the Author, himself, appears to depict the core of his identity as the epitome of what he considers, a 'lunatic.'
Someone, he says, who is "possessed by an amorous intoxication with the moon," or, in other words, "with the unconscious motive principle of all Life on earth.” He goes on to describe how others may perceive someone stamped with this label by society, in figurative language, in essence, to distinguish the difference between his own personal truth, and then the ‘nonsensical taboos of society (Madness Is A Form Of Love; pg. 3).’
Considering the many debates, opinions, and research conducted concerning mental illness and insanity, we find the Author’s inward perspective and observations insightful and at the same time, compelling, purposefully disregarding the common stereotypical ideas associated with the ‘external views’ of madness, to better place ourselves in the Author’s shoes to understand the nature and context of what it feels, means, and looks like to be ‘mad.’
To convey his standpoint and keen observations, Lewy uses intricate verses that are thorough with a twist of eccentricity to accentuate his own, distinct style. Some crafty metaphorical arrangements, like the featured, ‘Sacred Jungle Of Dreams,’ implement rhyme and can be considered abstract or subject to interpretation, while other poems such as ‘Just More Meds,’ also implement rhyme, but rather than speaking figuratively, express his precise thoughts and feelings in a direct, straightforward manner.
For example; “the police hand-cuff me and sling me in the back on their van. The van speeds off, I struggle to breathe… (Just More Meds; pg. 10)” and then, “beyond the dull horizon of wakefulness, lies a jungle of multifaceted wonders. I can almost touch her medicinal mystery (Sacred Jungle Of Dreams; pg. 9).”
Keeping in mind the central theme of the book, psychology, spirituality, and consciousness make a heavy imprint on as we read deeper into the Author’s journey. Sometimes, tormented by his own thought’s mental revelations, and circumstances, God and the devil make appearances as he strides on a thin line that divides the physical world (reality) and ametaphysicality, often mentioning or referencing to angels and demons. And while there are some who openly profess their belief in these otherworldly beings, there are instances in which Lewy uses these descriptions and terms, more so, to symbolically illustrate both good and bad; dark and light; and good and evil.
Like in the two-liner, “Tiny Little Pill,” where he says; “tiny little pill, gods within kill.” Even in brevity, this quote provides a perspective on how the Author possibly views his meds and their accompanying effects. And it doesn’t sound good.
Author Max J. Lewy is bold and outspoken in his opinions and enthusiastically confronts a variety of different situations and people throughout his work, in one poem, calling Britain’s leaders, without the mention of names, ‘supercilious would-be tyrants.’
This poem candidly displays the Author’s opposition to ‘political agenda’s’ that do not have the people’s best interest in mind. He tells the people to ‘rise up’ in the midst of their schemes and encourages readers to join his idealism of a ‘free, democratic union.’
Speaking of freedom, the idea of it seems afar off when we encounter the poem, ‘Professional Licenses,” where he openly admits, nonchalantly, ‘I am a slave to those with professional licenses.’ We predict he is referring to the staff or doctors within the psychiatric ward/hospital, even though he does not specifically state this.
With previous accounts of psychiatry and descriptions of the actual psychiatry ward, we read of the dull, hollowness covering him as he lives in silence, or in our eyes, more like a prison, where he has nothing but time to contemplate the ‘poisonous love’ of an ‘unforgiving world.’ An undeniable melancholy makes this poem almost spiritless compared to some others with such zealous passion.
Such a contrast helps us see and feel the Author’s highs and lows, and more importantly, is a constant reminder of the ever-ongoing battle he endures not only mentally, but on the outside world as well.
Lewy believes in the ‘American Dream,’ and in his poem, ‘Infowarrior,’ uses the tool of characterization to make his point relatable and clear. Disturbed by a world of chaos, which he uses the word, ‘Machiavellian,’ to exemplify, there is no doubt in our mind that Author Max J. Lewy is sincere in his will to fight for a more just, clean, and honorable society for all.
His heart is set on teaching what he sees as the true definition of freedom, which overall, is to be one’s self. Free of influence. Free of standards or categorizations. With this, he challenges the idea of ‘normal’ and cautions readers to ‘beware’ of those who attempt to convince you of what is or isn’t ‘normal.’
This raises some great questions for all people, despite one’s background or identity, as we all are unique in our own way as much as we are the same. And if you’ve ever felt slightly off track from others, even quietly to yourself, this message may surely resonate with you and your experience more than a little.
But - is madness truly everything, as Author Lewy states in this book? Are we so bound by the governing forces of conformity, that anything ‘outside’ the box is considered asinine? Crazy? Or psychosis? And more importantly, is it?
We will leave that for you to decide, for the mind and its full capacity is one of the most mystifying and wondrous gifts of the human psyche and certainly embodies secrets, dreams, and mysteries that may never be told. Yet with books such as this, we are invited into a world and realm that may be dark to some, but a bright light to those forever ‘lost in the fray. (Lost In The Fray; pg. 183).’
We are pleased to present this book with 5-stars and commend the Author for his creativity, insight, and will to fight for the better of humanity.
This book is available for purchase on Amazon at