(Negative Capability Press, 2018)
From Lazer’s ambitious ten-year Notebook shape-writing project, Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27) challenges the way we read and write poetry and reframes the terms of spiritual autobiography. Though Lazer’s handwritten shape-writing presents itself most obviously and initially as a visual experience – the shape of thinking itself embodied in the improvisation of each page – this book is also infused with the overlapping ways in which we both hear and are here. Beginning with Lazer’s fourth trip to Havana (and two noteworthy jazz-poetry concerts with saxophonist Andrew Raffo Dewar), music itself and the music of the shape-written poetry is crucial to this book, just as is an ever-shifting investigation of how we are here: what it means to be in a specific place. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, Lazer creates immediately accessible and beautifully drawn intervals of consciousness that is a unique contribution to American poetry.