Tag Archives: Dead Language

Angus MacLise – Books and Broadsides

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SECTION A:
This index includes books, chapbooks, booklets and broadsides


1. MacLise, Angus. STRAIGHT FARTHEST BLOOD TOWARDS (OPENING SECTION)
ph_straightFirst edition:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Single 6.25″ x 22″ sheet folded three times to make six printed pages and a cover, 5.5″ x 6.5″, letterpress printed and with a block print  cover by Piero Heliczer. Angus MacLise’s first publication.

According to BeatBooks: It was after noticing a copy of this title in City Lights Books that La Monte Young first became aware of Angus MacLise. When the latter moved to New York in 1961 they began performing together regularly, and it was through Young that MacLise first met John Cale.

2. MacLise, Angus. YEAR, A WEDNESDAY PAPER SUPPLEMENT
ph_year
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1961
Multiple sheets tape-bound to make a single accordion fold with 12 panels, one for each of the twelve months and an entry for each day, 4.6″ x 9″ (folded), letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover illustration, “The Ascension of St. Rose of Lima”, by Aubrey Beardsley.

According to BeatBooks: The publication prints MacLise’s renaming of every day of the year, some simply assigned a number, but most given poetic names, such as “day of the hearts blood”, “day of the two daughters”, “the shouts from the sea”, and “last day of the autumn feast”. La Monte Young used the calendar to date many of his recordings from the period, including “B-flat Dorian Blues (Fifth Day Of The Hammer)”.

3. MacLise, Angus. THE NEW UNIVERSAL SOLAR CALENDAR
First Edition:
New York: George Maciunas, (1969)
Broadside, 20.5″ x 23.5″. Black calligraphy offset printed on white stock, intricately and elegantly folded as issued.

Note: Similar to MacLise’s earlier “Year,” The New Universal Solar Calendar renames the days of the year, but in this format prints the phrases in his characteristic calligraphic hand, producing a full artwork that actually seems to take itself a bit more seriously than most of the multiples produced by Macianus at the time. [ see Fluxus Codex page 398]

4. MacLise, Angus. THE CLOUD DOCTRINE
First edition:
Kathmandu: Dreamweapon Press, 1974
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 10.75″, 16 pages, letterpress printed on handmade paper. Cover woodblock print from a photograph by Ira Cohen.

Note: The Cloud Doctrine was one of the first books produced by the Kathmandu beat poetry presses, and set the template for the books issued in this style.

5. MacLise, Angus. THE SUBLIMINAL REPORT
a. First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1975
Machine-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 10.75″, 28 pages, 500 numbered copies, letterpress printed on handmade paper. Cover woodblock print from a photograph by Ira Cohen. Published as Starstreams Poetry Series, No. 4

According to Ira Cohen: The Subliminal Report included two photos printed in silver ink on white machine made paper, one a mylar portrait of Angus taken in New York, the other a stone garuda sinking into the ground in Dhoka Tole just in front of the Raj Photo Shop where the negatives were developed and first printed…There was a very special collaboration going on here between the artists and artisans, Nepalis and foreigners, which was mutually inspiring and gives the books their unique quality. The Subliminal Report was the first book to utilize Bhutanese silk paper as cover stock.

b. First edition, revised facsimile:
New York: SZ Press, 1984

Photocopied reissue printed in advance of the publication of The Map of Dusk, with brief introductory text by John Fallon and Carolyn Betensky.

6. MacLise, Angus. THE MAP OF DUSK
First edition:
New York: SZ Press, 1984
This is the first publication of the poem in full. An excerpted version of The Map of Dusk appeared in a previous publication by Piero Heliczer in 1959. Illustrated with calligraphic drawings by the author. Includes introduction by Ira Cohen.

Angus Maclise

Angus MacLise was a musician, poet, artist, and counterculture figure who was a mainstay of the downtown New York arts scene in the 1960s.


Angus MacLise Checklist:

Section A: Books and Broadsides
Section B: Contributions to Periodicals
Section C: Recordings
Section D: Publications Edited and Published


· The Dead Language [see also Piero Heliczer]
· Bardo Matrix


Angus MacLise was born in Bridgeport Connecticut in 1938. He studied music and dance before moving to Paris in the late 1950s. In Paris he and his high school friend, avant-garde filmmaker Piero Heliczer, started the Dead Language Press in 1958. The press specialized in poetry and published early works by poets such as Gregory Corso, Olivia de Haulleville, Hendrik Jan Marsman, Anselm Hollo, and others. MacLise also published several of his own poems and manuscripts through the press, including the pamphlet Year that renames all of the days of the year—a convention that MacLise and many of his friends used in dating correspondence or artworks.

MacLise and Heliczer moved back to the United States in the early 1960s, settling in New York and bringing the press with them. In New York, MacLise continued his publishing efforts, while also pursuing music and becoming involved in avant-garde theatrics and performance art pieces. He was a member of the Theater of Eternal Music, started and organized by composer and musician LaMonte Young. He was a regular participant in Fluxus events in New York City and appeared in many experimental films being made by his friends in the downtown arts scene at the time, notably Piero Heliczer and Ira Cohen.

MacLise was a founding member of the Velvet Underground—he was introduced to the band through his roommate John Cale and became the band’s first drummer. Though he helped to found the band, and may have even given it its name, his time with the Velvet Underground was short due to MacLise’s disinterest in creating art for profit or on a schedule dictated by anything other than his own inspiration. He does not appear on any of the band’s recordings.

In 1967 MacLise moved briefly to Berkeley, where he joined the Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, a street performance troupe that included the painter and illustrator Hetty McGee. McGee and MacLise were married in Golden Gate Park in a ceremony officiated by Timothy Leary. The two would later have a son, Ossian, who began living in a Tibetan monastery at the age of 4 and was recognized at 7 as a tulku—a reincarnation of a lama.

The couple moved back to New York where MacLise again collaborated with Ira Cohen, scoring and appearing in Cohen’s film The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda.

In 1970 Angus and Hetty began a tour of Asia that ended with their settling in Kathmandu, Nepal. In Nepal, MacLise helped operate the Spirit Catcher Bookshop in Kathmandu which became a gathering place for the growing community of artist and poet expatriates living and working in the area. He founded a literary and poetry journal, Ting Pa, and in 1974 he and Ira Cohen started the Bardo Matrix publishing venture. They published work by MacLise, Paul Bowles, Charles Henri Ford among others.

During this time he was particularly interested in calligraphic art and works on paper. Much of his own work from his time in Nepal includes calligraphic illustrations in a made-up script. He was working on establishing a handmade paper company, Himalayan Paper, Inc. at the time of his death.

MacLise died in 1979 in Kathmandu, Nepal at the age of 41.


References Consulted:

Dreamweapon: The Art and Life of Angus MacLise 1938-1979
New York: Boo-Hooray, 2011


Online Resources:

Blastitude – Angus MacLise: Master of Synthesis

Columbia University Libraries – Angus MacLise papers

Piero Heliczer – Biography and Bibliography

>> return to PIERO HELICZER main page >>

SECTION F:
This index includes biographical and bibliographical resources


1. IVY MAGAZINE, Vol. 3, No. 2, edited by Undergraduates of the Ivy League
First edition:
New Haven: Ivy Magazine, February 1959
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 28 pages. Article titled “Rebellion Accomplished” by Gavin Scott, an early piece about Heliczer’s time at Harvard who was then living in Paris, includes an early photo of Heliczer.

2. FILMMAKERS NEWSLETTER, Vol. 4, No. 4, edited by Suni Mallow, et al.
mags_filmmakers0404First edition:
New York: Filmmakers Newsletter, 1971
Saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 11″, 66 pages, offset. Article (presumably by Heliczer) titled “The Dead Language” describes the philosophy, work and performances of Heliczer’s ‘press’.

3. LE PETIT SPHINX, Vol. 1, No. 5, edited by Jeff Woodward
mags_lepetitFirst edition:
Los Angeles: Le Petit Sphinx, nd
Saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 50 pages, offset printed. Article by Heliczer titled “Paris F-M Coop” describing The Paris Filmmakers Cooperative started by him, Barbara Rubin, and Pamela Badyk and their showings.

Piero Heliczer – Publications Edited, Printed, and Published

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SECTION D:
This index includes publications edited printed, and published by Piero Heliczer and his Dead Language Press


1. Piero Heliczer and Angus MacLise. IMPRIMATUR M.CC.LXXX.I and THE COMPLETED WORKS OF ANGUS MACLISE
First edition:
White Plains: privately printed, 1957
Hand-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 24 pages, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.



2. Om [pseud. Olivia de Haulleville]. MARIA
a. First edition, blue paper:
Paris: Dead Language Press, 1958
Broadside, 6.75″ x 15″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Contents: “Maria” [poem]
[not in archive]


b. First edition, white paper:
Paris: Dead Language Press, 1958
Broadside, 5″ x 6.5″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Contents: “Maria” [poem]
[not in archive]

Note: poem written partly in English and partly in French, probably composed in memory of the author’s maternal aunt, and wife of Aldous Huxley, Maria Nys, who died in 1955. (©BeatBooks.com)

3. Om [pseud. Olivia de Haulleville]. LEMURS
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, 1958
Unbound sheets laid into printed and photo-illustrated wrappers, 11″ x 9″, 6 pages, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. This is the first separate edition of one of three pieces collected in A Pulp Magazine for the Dead Generation.

4. [anthology] A PULP MAGAZINE FOR THE DEAD GENERATION, edited by Piero Heliczer
ph_pulp
a. First edition, green cover:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Three un-boud folded sheets laid into printed wrappers, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Contributors: Om, Henk Marsman, Gregory Corso.

b. First edition, blue cover:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Three un-boud folded sheets laid into printed wrappers, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Photograph of Om affixed to last leaf, as issued.Contributors: Om, Henk Marsman, Gregory Corso.

Note: the book prints “Lemurs” by Om; five poems by Henk Marsman (the Dutch poet, Hendrik Jan Marsman, aka J. Bernlef); and four poems from The Vestal Lady on Brattle and Other Poems by Gregory Corso. Each contribution is preceded by a brief text, Corso’s probably written by Piero Heliczer, the others by the poets themselves. (©BeatBooks.com)

5. THE DEAD LANGUAGE DIXHUIT RUE DESCARTES PARIS
ph_dl1
First edition:
Paris: Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Flyer, 4.5″ x 8.25″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

Note: verso lists Dead Language publications, 1957-1959.

6. PURCELL FESTIVAL M.CM.L.IX
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, 1959
Flyer, 4.5″ x 8.25″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

Note: announces a festival “to be held in paris the second week of july to celebrate henry purcells three hundredth birthday…organised by the dead language”. Text in English and French.

The festival was organised by Piero Heliczer, a keen listener of English baroque, William Byrd as well as Purcell. When he visited Cambridge in early February 1960 as part of Michael Horovitz’s Live New Departures, Heliczer was presented with a viola da gamba by the musicologist and Purcell exponent, Thurston Dart, an instrument that Horovitz remembers Heliczer soon mastered.

Earlier, in June 1959, a petit scandale emerged when Peter Forbes, a British tabloid journalist, visited Heliczer in Paris after hearing of his invitations to English school girls to attend the festival, one of them sent to the headmistress of Queen Anne’s School in Caversham. Forbes’s article appeared in the Sunday Pictorial on June 7 and featured a photograph of Heliczer with Olivia de Haulleville (“A Bohemian young scamp and his girl friend”).

It claimed that Heliczer was offering “to receive groups of girls at a festival in Paris… The girls would pay their own fares, but Heliczer would provide free hotel accomodation.” Forbes added that Heliczer hoped “to get one of his girl guests to act in a play he has written. It features a headless man and a girl who appears naked standing on a tombstone”, and quotes the headmistress as initially having been “quite enthusiastic. Some of the girls had obtained their parents’ consent and were looking forward to the trip. Now, however, we shall unquestionably withdraw. I shall write to Heliczer telling him so.” The article concludes: “Other headmistresses, please copy. And Piero, please drop those crackpot capers. They will land you in real trouble one day.” (©BeatBooks.com)

7. Haulleville, Eric de. MÉLANCHOLIA 1
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Postcard, 6″ x 4″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

Note: Baron Eric de Haulleville, Olivia’s father, was a Belgian poet and writer who died in France during the second world war, shortly after his daughter’s birth.

8. Tyndall, Thomas. CITY SUMMER NIGHT
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, nd. (c. 1959)
Postcard, 6″ x 4″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer

9. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING ASKANCE IM JUST TRYING TO SHOUT
a. First edition, cream-colored stock:
Paris: Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Postcard, 4″ x 6″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

 

b. First edition, orange-colored stock:
Paris: Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Postcard, 4″ x 6″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

 

Note: a publicity card printing a short text by Piero Heliczer on his private press (“the only one left which has not been absorbed by those given over to reminiscence”), and listing the titles and prices of its early publications.

10. MacLise, Angus. STRAIGHT FARTHEST BLOOD TOWARDS (OPENING SECTION)
ph_straightFirst edition:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Single 6.25″ x 22″ sheet folded three times to make six printed pages and a cover, 5.5″ x 6.5″, letterpress printed and with a block print  cover by Piero Heliczer. Angus MacLise’s first publication.

Note: it was after noticing a copy of this title in City Lights Books that La Monte Young first became aware of Angus MacLise. When the latter moved to New York in 1961 they began performing together regularly, and it was through Young that MacLise first met John Cale. (©BeatBooks.com)

11. [anthology] WEDNESDAY PAPER, edited by Piero Heliczer and Angus MacLise
a. First edition, white cover:
New York: The Dead Language Press, (c. 1961)
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″,  12 pages, offset printed.  Contributors: Gregory Corso, Cyclops [Lester], Anselm Hollo, Gustav Schiele.

ph_wednesdaya. First edition, pink cover:
New York: The Dead Language Press, (c. 1961)
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″,  12 pages, offset printed.  Contributors: Gregory Corso, Cyclops [Lester], Anselm Hollo, Gustav Schiele. This apparent later issue adds the title to Hollo’s poem on the cover.

Note: prints the poems “Song of Stations” by Anselm Hollo and “It Was the Happy Birthday of Death” by Gregory Corso (reputedly included without Corso’s permission). Also features reproductions of a sketch by Egon Schiele (with accompanying texts by him); a holograph letter from Cyclops Lester to Piero Heliczer; a ‘Woman Contest’ (“every two weeks wednesday paper will run photos of the winner and runner up of our quarter moon woman contest”); newspaper clippings; and brief ads. for the Dead Language, New Departures, and “hollands leading litry magazine”, Barbarber. (©BeatBooks.com)

12. MacLise, Angus. YEAR, A WEDNESDAY PAPER SUPPLEMENT
ph_year
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1961
Multiple sheets tape-bound to make a single accordion fold with 12 panels, one for each of the twelve months and an entry for each day, 4.6″ x 9″ (folded), letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover illustration, “The Ascension of St. Rose of Lima”, by Aubrey Beardsley.

Note: the publication prints MacLise’s renaming of every day of the year, some simply assigned a number, but most given poetic names, such as “day of the hearts blood”, “day of the two daughters”, “the shouts from the sea”, and “last day of the autumn feast”. La Monte Young used the calendar to date many of his recordings from the period, including “B-flat Dorian Blues (Fifth Day Of The Hammer)”. (©BeatBooks.com)

13. Smith, Jack. THE BEAUTIFUL BOOK
ph_beautifulbook
a. First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1962 Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 9″, 20 pages, 200 copies (though it is often claimed that only sixty or so copies were ever completed), letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Includes 19 silver gelatin contact prints (2.25″ x 2.25″), one tipped on to each page: 19 photographs by Jack Smith, and 1 portrait of Jack Smith by Ken Jacobs. Cover art by Marian Zazeela.

b. Facsimile edition, second printing:
New York: Granary Books / Plaster Foundation, 2001
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 9″, 20 pages, Includes 19 silver gelatin contact prints (2.25″ x 2.25″) made from the original negatives, one tipped on to each page: 19 photographs by Jack Smith, and 1 portrait of Jack Smith by Ken Jacobs. Cover art by Marian Zazeela.

Note: a printed sheet issued with the Granary Books / Plaster Foundation edition in 2001 stated: Noting the scarcity of this title on the rare book market and its absence from many prominent collections (not to mention the chaotic circumstances in which it was produced) it is likely that considerably fewer than 200 books were actually nished and distributed. Jack Smith, Piero Heliczer, and their associates assembled the books during the late spring and early summer of 1962 before shooting began on Smith’s seminal film Flaming Creatures (1963), one of the most notorious underground films of the 1960s, which became a test case of censorship laws.

14. FOLDING CHAIR OF THE PRINTING MASTER, A CATALOG OF ITEMS PRINTED BY THE DEAD LANGUAGE 1963
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1963
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 4.75″ x 5″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover art by Aubrey Beardsley.

Note: a catalogue of Dead Language editions listing seven publications, each one including the price and pithy comments or quotes. The text ends: “make checks payable to piero heliczer”.

15. Hollo, Anselm. LOVER MAN
ph_lover
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, (1963)

Accordion-bound sheets laid into printed and illustrated wrappers, 6.75″ x 8.75″, 12 pages, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover art (“Le Viol”, 1934) by Rene Magritte.

Note: the Folding Chair Dead Language catalog describes the publication as “a very free translation of the lemminkainen cantos of the kalevala” (a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology). (©BeatBooks.com)

16. FOLDING CHAIR OF THE PRINTING MASTER, A CATALOG OF ITEMS PRINTED BY THE DEAD LANGUAGE 1963
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1963
Multiple sheets tape-bound to make a single accordion fold with 8 panels, 4.75″ x 5″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover art by Aubrey Beardsley.

Note: a catalogue of Dead Language editions listing ten publications, with The Beautiful Book, The First Battle of the Marne, and Loverman added to the seven titles listed in the earlier edition, the first two featuring quotes from Ron Rice and Fielding Dawson respectively.

[facsimile at Brown University Library digital repository]

17. [anthology] CORONA SPINARUM: SON OF WEDNESDAY PAPER, OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EMPIRE OF EUROPE & THE PIERO HELICZER FAN CLUB, Vol. 1, No. 1, edited by Piero Heliczer
First edition:
Amsterdam: Piero Heliczer, October 1980
Folded and gathered unbound sheets, 5.75″ x 8.25″, 8 pages, photocopy printed.

Note: prints the abstracts from the first meeting of the Imperial Council, attended by Piero, Bill Levy and Ira Cohen.

18. [anthology] DE VROUWE VAN ALLE VOLKEREN [trans. THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS], edited by Piero Heliczer
First edition:
Amsterdam: Piero Heliczer, 1981
Folded and gathered unbound sheets, 5.75″ x 8.25″, 12 pages, photocopy printed.

Note: includes a map of Amsterdam with numbers encircled of places of importance, a professional horoscope reading (by Ronnie Dreyer),  holy texts of Saints, and  an ad for a marijuana sweepstakes.

19. [anthology] CORONA SPINARUM, No. 3, edited by Piero Heliczer
First edition:
Amsterdam: Piero Heliczer, 1981
Folded and gathered unbound sheets, 5.85″ x 8.3″, 12 pages, photocopy printed.

Note: announces a poetry reading by Heliczer, and prints various texts (on Thomas Beckett, Bernadette Soubirous, Jeanne d’Arc, and Thérèse de Lisieux) in French, Dutch and English.

Piero Heliczer – Books and Broadsides

>> return to PIERO HELICZER main page >>

SECTION A:
This index includes books, chapbooks, booklets and broadsides


1. Heliczer, Piero. THE TOMB OF HENRY JAMES, DIFERENCIA 1
First edition:
(White Plains): privately published, (c. 1957)
Staple-bound sheets tipped into printed wrappers, 12 pages, 24 numbered copies issued hors commerce.  Contents: “The Tomb of Henry James Diferencia 1” [play]

Note: prints the first part of Heliczer’s absurdist play. The play’s second part appeared in Accent (Spring 1958), and the complete (?) four-part play was published by the Dead Language Press in 1971. This first part was privately printed “as a distraction” by Heliczer in White Plains, New York, “for personal use of its author”, and does not bear the Dead Language (or any) imprint. It was included in the Dead Language catalogue for 1959 (item #49), though only a tiny number of copies were sold or, more likely, given away. (©BeatBooks.com)

2. Heliczer, Piero. GIRL BODY
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, 1958
First edition, broadside, 5″ x 24″ folded twice to 5″ x 6″, white ink letterpress printed on black paper. Contents: “Girl Body” [poem]

Note: the subject of this sensual and concupiscent poem is Olivia de Haulleville, Heliczer’s girlfriend, whose breath he compares to a turtle’s and “her sex” to “a turtle shell” (Piero owned a pet turtle which he led on a leash and is said to have once deposited it at the Louvre’s cloakroom during a visit). (©BeatBooks.com)

3. Heliczer, Piero. IN WHICH THE POET WALKS…
First edition:
Paris: Dead Language, 1958
Broadside, 6″ x 11″ folded twice to 6″ x 3.75″, letterpress printed on cream laid paper. Contents: “In Which The Poet Walks from 945 Park Avenue to His Home at 420 West 46th Street out of Which He is to be Evacuated as a Squatter and Finally to Battery Park at Noon” [poem]

4. Heliczer, Piero. YOU COUL HEAR THE SNOW DRIPPING…
First edition:
Paris: Dead Language Press, 1959
Saddle-stapled in printed wrappers, 6.5″ x 6.75″, 24 pages, letterpress printed. Avant-propos by Robert Graves, original photo of Heliczer by Harold Chapman mounted to verso of last leaf. Contents: “Fuga XIII” [poem], “Ornithology For Love Cyclops” [poem], “England” [poem], “English Girls” [poem], “Paris A Scenario For A Silent Movie” [poem], “America” [poem]

Note: Heliczer’s first book. In his avant-Propos, Robert Graves liken Heliczer’s work to “a translation of poems from a foreign language, which I would like to understand” (“an indication”, Anselm Hollo later noted, “of the limited range of the older poet’s ear”). The title is credited to Siggy Wessberg, Olivia de Haulleville’s half brother. (©BeatBooks.com)

5. Heliczer, Piero. THE LION KEEPER
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, 1960
Postcard, 4″ x 6″., letterpress printed. Contents: “The Lion Keeper”.



6. Heliczer, Piero. & I DREAMT I SHOT ARROWS IN MY AMAZON BRA
ph_idreamt
First edition thus:
Brighton: Dead Language & London: Matrix Press, 1961
Saddle-stapled in illustrated wrappers, 4.5″ x 11″, 20 pages, letterpress printed. Cover photo by Ph Mechanicus. Contents: “& I Dreamt I Shot Arrows in My Amazon Bra” [poem]

“& I Dreamt I Shot Arrows in My Amazon Bra” is “a poem in eleven takes”.

“An earlier edition was dittoed by Anselm Hollo… My earlier inspiration little frogs and clay dams in the sound of leaves there’s no need to worry about fulfilling a sign as signs necessarily fulfill themselves just as every thing has a pot dimension ie that emitter sends pot signals to pot man it is not necessary to the manifestation whether the emitter is under the influence.”

Note: Heliczer’s 1963 Dead Language catalog prints the publication year as 1961, a year before he moved to New York; elsewhere Tom Raworth mistakenly gives the year as 1963, stating that “Piero was living with us; he and I printed it on my treadle press which was off Oxford Street in Richard Moore’s print-shop…”. Heliczer’s notebook dates the sale and distribution of copies in early December 1961, and records that he paid Tom Raworth £1.00 on the ninth of that month. (©BeatBooks.com)

7. Heliczer, Piero. THE FIRST BATTLE OF THE MARNE
First edition:
New York: Dead Language, (1962)
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 7″, 28 pages, letterpress printed. Afterword by Anselm Hollo. Variant in orange wrappers (priority unknown). Contents: “Poem Number One” [poem], “Mantis” [poem], “Wm Byrd” [poem], “Bird Burgeoning Sky” [poem], “Buckingham Palace” [poem], “Carillon Booty” [poem]

Note: “Poem Number One” appeared in La Lune en Rodage 1, (Basel); “Mantis” appeared in a French version in Sens Plastique, (Paris); “Wm Byrd” appeared in New Departures 2/3, (Oxford & London); “Buckingham Palace” appeared in Outburst 2, (London).

8. Heliczer, Piero. THE SOAP OPERA
ph_soapopera
First edition:
London, Trigram Press, 1967
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards with illustrated dust jacket, 9″ x 10″, 36 pages, 500 copies (36 numbered and signed), letterpress printed. Illustrations by Paul Vaughan, Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Wallace Berman, and others. Contents: “A Purchase in The White Botanica” [poem], “The Death Of Stephen Ward” [poem], “Wyatt: Elegy & Diferencias” [poem], “Victorian Era” [poem], “The Passion Of Johann Sebastian Bach” [poem], “The Autumn Feast” [poem]

Notes: “The Autumn Feast” was made into a movie, Jeffrey Keen did the photography and cutting, Angus Maclise and Tony Conrad made the soundtrack.

9. Heliczer, Piero. THE PLAYS OF PIERO HELICZER, Volume I
ph_plays1
First edition:
Préaux: The Dead Language, 1971
Side-stapled in printed and illustrated cover, 8.5″ x 11″,  30 pages, 100 copies, mimeograph printed. Cover photo by Avril Hodges. Contents: “The Tomb of Henry James, Diferencias I-IV” [play]

10. Heliczer, Piero. THE PLAYS OF PIERO HELICZER, Volume II
ph_plays2
First edition:
Préaux: The Dead Language, 1971
Side-stapled in printed and illustrated cover, 8.5″ x 11″, 30 pages, 100 copies, mimeograph printed. Cover photo by Avril Hodges. Contents: “Wyatt” [play], “The Pecan Tree” [play], “Chaconne in G Minor” [play]

11. Heliczer, Piero. THE PLAYS OF PIERO HELICZER, Volume III
ph_plays3
First edition:
Préaux: The Dead Language, 1971
Side-stapled in printed and illustrated cover, 8.5″ x 11″, 100 copies, 26 pages, mimeograph printed. Contents: “Harunobu” [play], “The Blue Centaur” [play], “Bessie Smith” [play]

12. Heliczer, Piero. THE HANDSOME POLICEMAN
First edition:
New York City : Moon Dragon Press, 1976
Broadside, 11″ x 17″. Contents: “The Handsome Policeman” [poem]
[not in archive]

13. Heliczer, Piero. ABDICATION OF THE THRONE OF HELL
First edition:
Heerlen, Holland: Uitgeverij 261, 1981
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 5.25″ x 8.25″, 48 pages, printed in English and Dutch. Published as part of The Amsterdam School/Poetry Series. Contents: “In Coena Domini” [poem], “Leadbelly (A D 1882 To 1949)” [poem], “Chinatown” [poem], “None of This is Going to Be Really There” [poem], “And I Am Not Afraid Of The Dark” [poem], “Abdication Of The Throne Of Hell” [poem]

14. Heliczer, Piero. SUNDAYS CHILD
First edition:
(New York): (The Rare Book Room), (1987)
Side-stapled in printed wrappers, 8.5″x 11″, 17 pages, 10 copies, xerox printed.

Note: a promotional flyer produced by The Rare Book Room and mailed by Heliczer to Bill Levy in late January 1988, states that the booklet was published in an edition of “Less than 10 copies”, and describes it as “An autobiographical sketch of some 17 pages by a former child star of Italy (‘Il Piccolo Pucci’), one of the earliest underground film-makers here (he also acted in Jack Smith’s notorious ‘Flaming Creatures’, some of Warhol’s earliest films), compulsive talker, womanizer – and, despite some occasionally wandering neurons – a fine poet. Mint. Signed by the author. 15.00”.

Forming only the first part of an unfinished life story, the narrative ends with the young Piero still in Italy at the end of World War II, prior to his emigration to America. Heliczer is referred to in the third person throughout, and it seems plausible that the text may have been based on conversations with the owner of The Rare Book Room, Richard Rogers. The Rare Book Room was a small bookstore on Greenwich Avenue in New York owned by Roger and Irvyne Richards. Roger was a friend to most of the Beat writers, notably Gregory Corso, as well as a regular at Warhol’s Factory. (©BeatBooks.com)

15. Heliczer, Piero. LEADBELLY
First edition:
n.p.: n.p., (c. 1988)

16. Heliczer, Piero. THE PERFECT DETECTIVE
First edition:
Amsterdam: Soyo Productions, 1989
Saddle-stapled in printed wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 40 pages. Contents: “Border Boredom”, “America”, “The Perfect Detective”


17. Heliczer, Piero. AND I AM NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK
ph_afraidFirst edition:
Bayonne, N.J. : Beehive Press, 1991
Comb-bound in printed cover, 5.75″ x 8.5″, 7 leaves printed recto only. Includes a flyer for Heliczer’s reading at Saint Marks bound in with a brief biography. Contents: “And I Am Not Afraid of The Dark” [poem]

18. Heliczer, Piero. A PURCHASE IN THE WHITE BOTANICA
First edition:
New York: Granary Books, 2001
Perfect-bound in printed and illustrated wrappers, 150 pages. Edited by Gerard Malanga and Anselm Hollo, with a foreword by Hollo and a 19-page biographical interview with Heliczer’s half-sister, Marisabena Russo, conducted by Malanga.

Piero Heliczer

Piero Heliczer on Rue Mouffetard in Paris circa 1961. © by Harold Chapman

Piero Giorgio Heliczer (June 20, 1937 in Rome, Italy – July 22, 1993 in Préaux-du-Perche, France) was an Italian-American writer, screenwriter, poet, actor, publisher and underground filmmaker.


Piero Heliczer Checklist:

Section A: Books and Broadsides
Section B: Contributions to Periodicals
Section C: Film
Section D: Publications Edited, Printed, and Published
Section E: Ephemera
Section F: Biography and Bibliography


· Olivia de Haulleville [coming soon…]
· Angus Maclise [coming soon…]


Heliczer moved to Paris in 1957, where he established his imprint The Dead Language press, publishing his own poetry and later, work by authors Anselm Hollo, Gregory Corso, Jack Smith, and others.

In the 1960s, Heliczer moved from Paris to London to New York, and, during that time, made his first film in collaboration with fledgling British filmmaker Jeff Keen (The Autumn Feast [1961]). Back in New York in 1962, Heliczer fell in with the crowd that was buzzing around Andy Warhol’s Factory, appearing as an actor in Jack ph_flyer_presSmith’s Flaming Creatures and in several of Warhol’s films. Heliczer had obtained his own camera by 1964 and began to make films in standard 8 mm, the smallest and least expensive of home-movie gauges. Although he sometimes blew his films up to 16 mm, Heliczer was one of only a few underground filmmakers in New York at the time to work with so-called “regular 8” as his primary tool. His films are similar to Smith’s in their inspired lunacy, primitive technical quality, heavy doses of anti-Catholic sentiment, and alternative sexuality. Heliczer’s film Satisfaction so enraged one moviegoer at the Filmmaker’s Cinematheque in 1965 that he knocked the projector over and attacked a couple of his fellow patrons. 

Heliczer usually shot his films silent and added sound on tape; in fact, his “screen adaptation” of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch in 1968 is “a film for tape recorder, no projector needed.” But, in some instances, Heliczer used live musicians to provide a soundtrack to his films, and ph_flyer_firstrushesone ad hoc group playing behind the screen at a Heliczer installation entitled The Launching of the Dream Weapon in early 1965 changed its name later that year to the Velvet Underground. In November, Heliczer had the Velvet Underground perform on the set of his film Venus in Furs and this shooting was filmed by a CBS News crew for an episode of Walter Cronkite Presents entitled “The Making of an Underground Film,” which was, in part, a profile of Piero Heliczer and turned out to be the only network television exposure for both the band and the filmmaker.

Heliczer made about 17 films which are now either lost or held in a variety of places, and no more than a third of them are in circulation. His publications are equally rare; for some pamphlets, there are no known extant copies. In 2001, poet Gerard Malanga was able to assemble what was retrievable of Heliczer’s literary works into a handsome volume entitled A Purchase in the White Botanica (Granary Books). Hopefully, a similar treatment of his films will not be far behind.


References Consulted:

Andrew Sclanders,  BeatBooks.com catalogues 71 and 86

EMPIRE OF EUROPE
Alençon: Les Bains-Douches, 2015
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Piero Heliczer” curated by Rose & Wynn Heliczer, and Sophie Vinet held at Les Bains-Douches.

Harter, Christopher. AN AUTHOR INDEX TO LITTLE MAGAZINES OF THE MIMEOGRAPH REVOLUTION
Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2008

LITTLE CAESAR, No. 9, edited by Gerard Malanga
Los Angeles: Dennis Cooper, 1979

PIERO HELICZER: L’UNDERGROUND À PRÉAUX-DU-PERCHE
Alençon: Les Bains-Douches, 2015
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Piero Heliczer” curated by Rose & Wynn Heliczer, and Sophie Vinet held at Les Bains-Douches.

PIERO HELICZER & THE DEAD LANGUAGE PRESS
NY: Boo-Hooray, 2014
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Piero Heliczer & The Dead Language Press” curated by Jonas Mekas and Johan Kugelberg held at
Boo-Hooray.


Online Resources:

·  Discogs – discography
·  The Film-Makers’ Cooperative – film
· Independent – obituary
· Mimeo-Mimeo – bibliography
· Mubi -film
· Piero Heliczer Web Page – bibliography
· UBU – film