A storm is circling all around us. We have known this for quite some time. The question that remains is how do we weather it? For some, it’s to double down, to fight the rising tide, while others simply close their eyes, refusing to see the swelling tempest, and still others simply look to see how they can cash in on the wreckage.
Of course, I speak in metaphors for an imploding system, and the destruction it leaves in its wake. Yet, there’s more to life than just surviving one looming disaster after another. So, I choose another way, to set myself adrift and let the winds and raging waters carry me where they may. For the last year and a half, I’ve been traveling the world, to any and every safe port I could find, for the simple reason that it was cheaper to go on an endless adventure than it was paying rent.
In the course of this nomadic sprawl, across vast seas and vanishing horizons, meeting friends both new and old, from all corners of the globe, discovering cultures and peoples we’ve only ever been told to be afraid of, and building with them friendship and community through music, poetry and the arts, as we learn about each other and find that regardless of where we come from, everyone basically wants the same things out of life, that no matter what government you live under, it’s always the rich oppressing the poor… some things are just universal that way.
Through this journey, I’ve also come to realize that the storm is likewise an internal one, one in which I must create those calm seas within me, to find a true balance in life, to not only be active in this struggle we all fight just to stay afloat, but to use the time I’ve been given to truly make the most out of life.
The poems in this collection, a combination of those written over this period of voyage, discovery and great personal change, with others previously unpublished, work together to create a larger, much fuller vision of that perfect storm, known only as life.
“Whether you are searching for answers to questions about life, or maybe even just hoping to make sense out of each day in the face of constant stress and turmoil, Mark Lipman’s new poetry collection, THE STORM, is your must-read book of the year. His poems are not only compelling for their understanding and portrayal of the complexities of life, but also remarkable for their insight, sensitivity, and most of all, their empathy as they suggest how each reader can find their own way to 'make the most out of life.’”
—Dan Speers, Poet Laureate, Haverhill, MA
“Mark’s poems perpetuate the honorable legacy of such poets as Thoreau, Mayakovsky, Mandelstam, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Baraka, Hirschman and other revolutionaries who refuse to surrender to the isolation of individual consciousness even in times when they have the flimsiest chances of staying alive. He refuses to 'buy what they’re selling' and seeks refuge 'where the food is cheap and the air is free.' Mark’s poems beam with an ecological consciousness against the vain strivings of our materialist, capitalist world and urge us to embrace our humanity and connect to the great infinity, against the wars and wretchedness that we inflict on each other. Mark has been to the Berber lands of the Amazigh people where 'the only thought and prayer is that for rain and the bounty of the land.' This collection is original; it revives hope, delight and disseminates positive cosmic energy.”
—El Habib Louai, Moroccan Amazigh poet, translator and professor of Literature at Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco
Publisher WebsiteReview of The Storm @ Free Venice Beachhead
Mark Lipman, founder of the press VAGABOND, the Culver City Book Festival, the Elba International Poetry Festival; winner of the 2015 Joe Hill Labor Poetry Award; the 2016 International Latino Book Award and the 2023 L'Alloro di Dante (Dante's Laurel - Italy), a writer, poet, multi-media artist, activist and author of fourteen books, began his career as the writer-in residence at the world famous Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France (2002- 2003). Since then he has worked closely with such legendary poets as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jack Hirschman on many projects and for the last twenty years has established a strong international following as a leading voice of his generation. He's the host and foreign correspondent for the radio program, Poetry from Around the World for Poets Café on KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles. As Mark continues to travel the world, he uses poetry to connect communities to the greater social justice issues, while building consciousness through the spoken word.