New York: Flockophobic Press Ltd., 1990. 1st Edition. Publisher's wooden box with sliding lid (measures 8.5" x 6.75" x 1.75"), printed paper label to one side, eight loose items in various media laid in.
"He was much larger than a poet...He was one of the big secret heroes of the time" (Ira Cohen, speaking to the New York Times). Limited edition "poem-object" by Lower East Side poet, Jewish mystic, and artist Lionel Ziprin, published by the innovative Flockophobic Press. Combining old world mysticism and new world entropy while engaging with mid-century bohemia, occultism, and popular culture, Ziprin's prodigious and polymathic body of work remains beyond categorization. Turning genre on its head in the poet-magus's signature fashion, Ziprin's "book," notably the only tangible material published during his lifetime, is a treasure trove of mixed-media ephemera providing an illuminating window into and reflection of his idiosyncratic poetic practice. The small wooden box contains eight items of collectanea, including: a scroll with a short selection from Ziprin's unpublished 1100-page epic poem ("I reduced it to 785 pages," he later remarked) Sentencial Metaphrastic (1965-1971); two folded sheets with passages from Clues to a Scotland Yard Mystery (1987) and Numeration (1966); a 12-page illustrated pamphlet with a selection from Songs for Schizoid Siblings (1958), an esoteric and playful compendium of verses, limericks, and rhymes written for his children; a double-sided red flexidisc record with recordings of Ziprin's rambling ruminations and a short reading from Sentencial Metaphrastic; a black-and-white photo of Ziprin taken by Flockophobic founder Alexander C.S. Rower; a small printed emblem by contemporary artist Dion Macellari; and a printed colophon card numbered and signed by the contributors (this being number 38 of a total 350 copies). Founded in the late 1980s and operating through the early 2000s, Flockophobic Press strove to challenge contemporary notions of the book as a material object, intentionally challenging mainstream mentalities and dictates — keeping with its name, meaning "fear of the flock" — by publishing poetry and prose in "unbook-like forms," such as maps, bottles, menus, boxes, shoes, and even noodles. The brainchild of Rower (the grandson of sculptor Alexander Calder and overseer of his legacy), the press strove to publish authors he felt had been overlooked by more conventional publishing houses. All excerpts selected by poet Judith Farley Upjohn. Fine, complete, and rare. Item #2919