by Hank Lazer
"Doublespace is a noble attempt to bridge the chasm between Language poetry and the traditional anectdotal and meditative poetry of the "free form" mode. Free form poetry communicates in diciplined, conversational speech, one of its important princples. Language poetry defies this principle and goes about its work in lines that on their surface are a total mystery to the reader of free form. Lazer stands between the two antagonists like a Hercules carrying both on his shoulders adjacent to one another, seeking through contact with both the possibiltiy of creating a language that both may be able to draw upon, each for its own purpose. Or is he trying to say that each has its place in the armory of the modern, each with its own means of communication: the free form through linear writing and Language poetry through effects of language used consciously in opposition to the conventional. There is no question that each mode has its work to do: free form to keep the surface of life familiar yet resonant and Language poetry to uncover through indirection via rejection of the familiar surface to win a whole perspective on life and its surface, which then will cause new thinking and doing close to contemporary fragmented and outworn culture. Hank Lazer has taken upon himself in Doulbespace to bring the division boldly into the open, with the two modes printed side by side under one conver. If we are able to continue to debate the issue, this then that Lazer has done is what is needed. It comes at a moment of historic change in the culture and social arrangements throughout the world.
- David Ignatow
Publication date: September 1992