Issue > Poetry
Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith's new book, The Light in the Film, will appear from the University of Tampa Press.

An Academic Occasion

Clinton, NY, 1972
--for David Rigsbee
One explicated a text, I learned
(remember?); one read closely
For irony and assonance and scanned,
Doubtful, the flatfooted trochee
In the fifth foot, the elusive ionic.
No theory. Well, Freud. Analysis was chronic,

Endless as the alcohol, the snow.
The poems I loved and couldn't parse
(Spicer, Weldon Kees, Vallejo)
As I stumbled from bed to verse
Examples of what language might do
To, not for you. That's what he knew,

My teacher. He gave me books. Like Frost
A guide to rough terrain, he only
Had at heart my getting lost,
Walking step by step, the way as lonely
As the epigraph he chose (whose?—a test):
Nay rather stranger than the rest.