The Source
Noah Eli Gordon

Spring 2011
Paperback Poetry
ISBN-13: 978-0-9822798-47

144 Pages, 6 X 8
$16.00 U.S.

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When the Source is formed and expressed in words, writing, it is true, has shaped it, but the spirit of the Source—the creative urge it represents, the feeling it expresses and evokes, and even in large part its subject matter, comes from only two words: ‘is’ and ‘are.’

"We read these words on page 26 of The Source, Noah Eli Gordon’s strange and haunting cento—a book assembled from thousands of instances of page 26, as found in the volumes of the Denver Public Library, their deployment of our alphabet with its twenty-six letters yielding an astonishing variety of source material that constitutes Noah Eli Gordon’s adventure in numerology.  Language is literally charged with meaning in exciting new ways."
—Marjorie Perloff

"Reduced choice is still choice, and we find what we look for. As Tzara said, describing a more strictly aleatory process of composition: “the poem will resemble you.” So Noah Eli Gordon has stitched hundreds of fragments into an intriguing, often funny synopticon of our culture and its/his nostalgia for transcendence. And though the book warns, "the Source is to be taken in very small doses," the total effect is exhilarating."
—Rosmarie Waldrop

"Noah Eli Gordon’s The Source, stretches a permeable skin around ruptured repositories of human thought-structures while sustaining itself, and us, on a nutritive broth of glorious language plunder, bibliomancy, Kabbalist numerology, and exquisitely attuned appropriations. Just as The Source “understands a pattern and works against it” it also is a finely hewn compendium of appropriations culled systematically from page 26 of thousands of the books in the open stacks of the Denver Public Library. What is contained is what is content: socio-cultural shards of language, “like a Roman shirt, stitched from the scraps of various sources, keeping us warm.” The Source embodies a text that is at once time binding--a product of it’s own placement in current conceptual poetics, as well as an archive of it’s own body through constrained ingestion of borrowed material. According to the Source’s own page 26 “...the spirit of the Source—the creative urge it represents…even in large part its subject matter, comes from only two words ‘is’ and ‘are.’” In other words, Noah Eli Gordon’s The Source gifts us with a methodically repurposed text that keeps on giving."
—Kim Rosenfield

By applying a hypertextual model to paper-bound books in a library, Noah Eli Gordon turns the electronic equation on its ear, making us realize that our engagement with every kind of media—analog and digital—has forever been altered. By literally surfing though a library, Gordon has convincingly shown us that writing still has the potential to be personal, meaningful and spiritual without our ever having written a word of it.
—Kenneth Goldsmith

Noah Eli Gordon is the author of several books, including Novel Pictorial Noise (Harper Perennial, 2007), which was selected by John Ashbery for the National Poetry Series and subsequently chosen by Sesshu Foster for the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award. He’s the co-publisher of Letter Machine Editions and an Assistant Professor in the MFA program in Creative Writing at The University of Colorado–Boulder.

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