P I E C E S : Poems
With no recollection of how or when he received the beautiful brown leather-bound notebook, Lazer’s P I E C E S is at once a book-length meditation in brief fragments and a response to the first page that had already been written in the found notebook. That first page describes a ritual for speaking to God; it was written by Lazer’s uncle, Stan Goodman, a neurosurgeon and Biblical scholar. P I E C E S, in part an homage to Robert Creeley’s short-line poems, extends Lazer’s ongoing development of a new spiritual poetry, continuing the discoveries and questions found in his earlier books: The New Spirit, Poems that Look Just Like Poems, and field recordings of mind in morning.
. . . returns the soul and its song to their highest aspiration.
Hank Lazer has written many great poems, many great books. The art of attention—the strength and willingness to listen and see and wait and think and listen and see and wait and notice everything—enacts and embodies the emotion (the search) animating his poems. … How does meaning resist itself and unravel itself and return to absolute beginning? … Lazer’s love and patient attention give a breathtaking gift to all of us.
… offering luminous company in dark times.
I’m grateful for the way [Lazer] documents this complicated and perilous moment.
I want to thank you because of the pure reading pleasure they [the poems] produced, but also for the image they proposed of human consciousness as a clear stream cutting a bright but narrow passage through the dark cliffs on either side.
The peacefulness, peace, tranquility and care for the movement that carries every single thing.
—Christophe Lamiot Enos
These apt, reductive verses keep a locus of faith with skill and moving commitment.
Hank Lazer has published thirty-four books of poetry, including field recordings of mind in morning (2021, BlazeVOX – with 15 music-poetry tracks with Holland Hopson on banjo – available from Bandcamp and on YouTube), When the Time Comes (Dos Madres Press, 2022), COVID 19 SUTRAS (2020, Lavender Ink), Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) (2019, Dos Madres Press), Poems That Look Just Like Poems (2019, PURH – one volume in English, one in French), Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27), (2018, Negative Capability Press), Thinking in Jewish (N20) (2017, Lavender Ink). Lazer has performed jazz-poetry improvisations in the US and Cuba with musicians Davey Williams, Omar Pérez, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Holland Hopson, and others. Lazer’s Brush Mind books have been transformed into video installations and performances in several art gallery venues. In 2015, Lazer received Alabama’s most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature. To order books, learn about talks, readings, and workshops, and see photos of Duncan Farm see Lazer’s website: https://www.hanklazer.com