Almost All Lies Are Pocket Sized: Excerpts from the Work of Lionel Ziprin

Almost All Lies Are Pocket Sized: Excerpts from the Work of Lionel Ziprin published by Flockophobic Press in 1990 is a collection of some of Ziprin’s poetry, as well as a small square of modern impressionist artwork (by Dean Macellari) and a photograph of Ziprin taken by A.S.C Rower. The poems included are “Songs for Schizoid Siblings” (included in a bound panphlet with abstract illustrations drawn by Ziprin), “Numeration”, “Clues to Scotland Yard”, and “Sentical Metaphastic” (in scroll form, bound by a beaded string). All of the items were arranged in a small wooden box with the collection title -Almost All Lies are Pocket Sized- on the side.

A picture of Lionel Ziprin and the cover of “Songs for Schizoid Siblings”. (New York City: Flockophobic Press, 1990). Image courtesy of The Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University.

The items in the box and their arrangement are reminiscent of Ziprins “helter-skelter,” borderline-nonsensical writing style. The photograph shows his long hair and beard- a product of his Jewish Orthodox religious affiliation. Although Ziprin has no direct relationship with the artist who made the ink impression piece, it is similar to his style of pen drawing included in “Songs for Schizoid Siblings”.

In many ways, this box and it’s arrangement characterizes Ziprin as a poet. His appearance in the photo tells us much about his heritage and culture. Ultimately, his belief in Jewish Mysticism had a large influence on his poetry. The samples of poetry offer a good sample of his work throughout the various stages of his career. Their different appearances and forms are representative of his creative associations and fantastical themes.

Although this small poetry sample can in no way cover all of Lionel Ziprin’s half-century career, it gives us a window into poetic experience he provides. It leaves much unsaid about Ziprin as a figure- for example, where he was born, his familial situation, his influences, education, ect.- but provides a taste of what his work has to offer.

For more information on Lionel Ziprin see his obituary in the New York Times

 

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