cover image The Source

The Source

Noah Eli Gordon. Futurepoem (SPD, dist.), $16 trade paper (148p) ISBN 978-0-9822798-4-7

Ingenious and exciting, if slightly diffuse, the new book-length prose poem, or set of linked prose poems, from the irrepressibly prolific Gordon (Novel Pictorial Noise) can capture attention, and provoke strong response, even before a reader discovers the strange technique by which the poem was made. Though topics and vocabularies are otherwise disparate%E2%80%94ancient philosophical treatises, ballet, rural America%E2%80%94each of the pages in Gordon's compendium appears to say something about a mysterious Source: "If anyone asks you what the Source is, send them to their own senses, because anything written can seem like straw." This Source is a god, an origin for poetic inspiration, a spiritual enigma beyond all meaning, below all things. It is also a pun, since Gordon made his book by rearranging and altering "sources" he found in books; his short afterword explains that he read only page 26 from tens of thousands of books in a library, quoted a passage from each of them, and then transformed or combined the results into this book, often adding the words "the Source." The result is a thing of beauty, a work with a serious spiritual dimension, and a source of inspiration after all. (May)