Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.
Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.

36.

Five manuscript notebooks kept by Piero Heliczer between 1960 and 1962, together with a spiral bound sketchbook containing 28 collages dating from the same period.

The notebooks are written in different inks and pencil and range from student composition books to a marbled hardcover journal embellished with collages and paint. Heliczer worked from both ends in four of the notebooks, using the front mainly for composition, and the back mainly for notes, such as details of the distribution and sales of his publications. The entries range from fully composed poems and prose writings, almost all of them unpublished, to working drafts, fragments, observations and aphorisms. Between them they contain more than 250 pages of holograph text, and span the period Heliczer spent living in London and Brighton, including sections written during visits to Oxford, Cambridge, and Paris, and, after relocating there, New York. The Rowney spiral bound sketch book contains 28 previously unseen collages made from cuttings from colour magazines. Some wear and tear to notebooks, with a few pages loose, but good and sound overall; some pages in the sketch book damp affected, o/w Very Good.

The contents of the notebooks include:
* numerous poems and short prose pieces, including working drafts
* several collages, some embellished with paint
* handwritten music notation
* thoughts, observations and aphorisms
* records of work submitted to literary magazines and publications sent to booksellers
* notes on readings, including lists of those invited

The working drafts include a section of the poem, "buckingham palace", featuring numerous differences from the version published in 'The First Battle of the Marne' (1962), and extensive notes for the short story, 'The Perfect Detective' (the latter accompanied by a loose 2pp. typescript featuring passages not included in the version published by Soyo in Amsterdam, 1989). In the eight pages of preliminary notes for it, Heliczer writes: "there can be no perfect detective for if there was there could be no perfect crime if no perfect crime there could be no perfect detective because a perfect detective solves a perfect crime". Later he adds: "it will take place in victorian times like the real detective stories have you ever wondered why so many detective stories take place in england".

In another notebook Heliczer writes a "Calendar On What Actually Happened in 1961", in which he names the days of June, each of which corresponds with Angus MacLise's subsequently published version in 'Year' (1962), but with the addition of alternate names, suggesting a possible collaboration. Below, Heliczer adds: "journal is the symmetric opposite of calendar a universe tells where each year falls in eternity a calendar tells where the kalends… fall in a year a journal tells where the days fall in the mind kalends". Elsewhere, Heliczer writes his proposed text for the colophon page of '& I Dreamt I Shot Arrows In My Amazon Bra' (1961).

The significant quantity of poems feature such titles as "Asphodel", "I Am Glad That I Have Beautiful Eyes", "Litany of the Atom", "The Princess of the Pea", "Elegia to Cynthia", and "whispermassage". Many others are untitled, works in progress, or abandoned. One of them has been typed on pages removed from the notebook and then neatly taped back in. Another, untitled, and written on the opposing page to a pasted in botanical drawing, reads:

i time my affection to girls
by how many times they
have cut my hair
i love saying good bye
ah the last words a dream
with no forseeable awakening
i give them seeds
to lay as necklaces in
the earth
their stem & leaf gleam
when these stones are cut
rain is a drop of belladonna
in the eye of the seed
tiny footsteps of paranoia
in the pebbles

As well as poems, either complete or unfinished, the notebooks are abundant in Heliczer's pasted in cuttings and collages, doodles, discursive thoughts and observations ("i always have my thoughts i'm never alone"; "it is ridiculous to spell all words in the same way"), along with random aphorisms ("the female sex is the beautiful conjunction of the universe"; "prostitution is the welfare state of love").

In one book, photographs of Marcel Duchamp, William Burroughs, Henry Miller and Ezra Pound have been pasted inside the back cover. In another, the opening page provides a list of writers and their work, both classical and contemporary, revealing Heliczer's range of influences: Thomas Malory (Le Morte d'Arthur); James Joyce (Finnegans Wake); The Golden Bough; translations by Ezra Pound; Shakespeare; The Tibetan Book of The Dead; Apollinaire; Les Années Vingt (Sylvia Beach); The Common Law (Oliver Wendell Holmes); Propertius; Samuel Beckett (Watt); Artaud; Rabelais; The Canterbury Tales; The Decameron; Rimbaud; Kafka; Herodotus; DH Lawrence; and William Burroughs (The Naked Lunch).

Few obvious autobiographical references occur, but occasional mentions of psychiatry allude to his hospitalisation in White Plains. In one passage, he writes: 'he tipped me off when i got to the mental hospital just act normal dont masturbate in the hall ways give weird answers to free association tests i'm for one thing & thats health & psychology & psychoanalysis are unhealthy actually im very religious dont believe in probing into gods mysteries.'

In another part, following a list of Dead Language titles both in and out of print, Heliczer refers to himself when drafting a statement about the Press, illustrating his sense of the indivisibility between poetry and life: "the dead language has existed even from before people began to speak it exists today particularly & will begin to exist in the future therefore very few people like to admit they know the founding date. The holder of the folding chair of the printing master was born in 1937 he has been thinking the same ideas since at least 1941… he has abandoned his mother tongue for sainthood & the world to become a poet… ".

The notebooks also provide a record of work submitted to various small magazines, and, in some cases, their response - 'rejected'. One of them has an ALS from Jon Edgar Webb of the Loujon Press attached by a paper clip. In it, Webb tells Piero that "This is much too long for our format right now - but it certainly contains a superior and superb touch & the style is up our alley… hope to see more from you soon. - Shorter, please… Have heard much good of you." The same notebook records the printing expenses and sales of Wednesday Paper, and a loosely inserted slip prints Piero's typed address in New York, suggesting that this notebook was started after he moved there in 1962.

The smallest notebook documents sales of '& I Dreamt I Shot Arrows In My Amazon Bra' and lists the names of those invited to readings from it. The first reading was held at The Gallery Bookshop in Soho on December 9, 1961, the second nine days later (venue not stated), and the third on November 1, 1962, presumably in New York, where copies were given to Tuli Kupferberg and Fielding Dawson. Among the 45 invitees listed by Piero are the Themersons; Michael Horovitz; David Sladen; Cornelius Cardew; Melville & Harriet Hardiment; George Whitman; Angus MacLise; Hundertwasser; Maurice Girodias; La Monte Young; Jean Fanchette; Tuli Kupferberg; and Wallace Berman. A separate list of names in another book, headed 'To Be Sent Notices', includes Allen Ginsberg and John Cage, along with publishers Atheneum, Barney Rosset (Grove) and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (City Lights), and small magazines Yugen (LeRoi Jones) and Patterns (Gladys LaFlamme). These written records reveal the wide range of Heliczer's transatlantic contacts, soon to expand further following his move to 56 Ludlow Street, early collaborations with Jack Smith and Andy Warhol, and involvement with the Velvet Underground.

Heliczer's notebooks are replete with lyrical and improvised poetry, unimpeded by conventional spelling or punctuation. Kept during the years immediately following the publication of his first two collections and just before his third, they span his most prolific period, and, unseen for the last sixty years, shed new light on his working practices and diverse roles as poet, printer and publisher.

The Rowney spiral bound sketchbook (23x30cm.) contains 28 paper collages by Heliczer, probably created in London, c. 1960/61. Each one consists of cut-out magazine pages arranged across the page in dislocated, sculptural shapes. Most are colour, and all feature illustrations, mainly photographic, with almost no printed text. Several images incorporate elements of the human body, or disembodied and rearranged faces, and one consists primarily of an anatomical drawing. Like the notebooks, this series of collages has remained unseen for the last sixty years, and adds a new and fresh dimension to what is already known of Heliczer's visual output.

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