Published 2001 | 120 pp
6" x 8"
by Piero Heliczer
A Purchase in the White Botanica offers the first collected poetry of Piero Heliczer. It includes poems from his college days at Harvard as well as his published books among which are & I Dreamt I Shot Arrows in My Amazon Bra (1959) and The First Battle of the Marne (1962), both of which were printed and published by his own press, the dead language, and The Soap Opera (Trigram, 1967). Heliczer was featured 20 years ago in Dennis Cooper's Little Caesar #9 and in a 200 page festschrift compiled by Gerard Malanga, now long out of print.
Heliczer's lyrical works incorporated classical notions of poetry combined with radical breaks in structure. The pieces explore the page itself, recreating spelling and placement of words to create "sheer visual clarity" in meaning and form. Heliczer blends abstract or "atmospheric" images to create an almost religious notion of poetry and life (Heliczer chose not to separate the two). The works move easily from throughout Europe and the United States, mirroring Heliczer's own roaming nature.
A Purchase in the White Botanica is supplemented with an extensive illustrated biographical interview with Heliczer's half-sister Marisabina Russo-Stark, conducted by Gerard Malanga, and a foreword by Anselm Hollo.