(Dos Madres Press, 2019)
Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) is a gorgeous book, beautifully printed & designed, presented in six colors. Lazer’s twenty-ninth book of poetry, and the sixth from his ongoing twelve-year Notebooks project, this is the first shape-writing book of his to include accompanying typed transcriptions. Readers have multiple ways to enter the meditative space of each poem/page. These poems can also be understood as scores for musical improvisations – thus far with a range of different instruments, including guitar, flute, percussion, soprano sax, cajón, theremin, and bass, as well as various multi-voice arrangements. Poem, visual art, improvised compositions, calligraphy, the unfolding of intervals of consciousness rolled into one. Dedicated to poet/Zen priest Norman Fischer, Slowly Becoming Awake incorporates readings in the 13th century Soto Zen founder Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. The book takes us through Lazer’s serious illness (June-July 2016) through his recovery and into his increasing meditative writing time spent at a remote farm in rural Alabama.