John Pass

Canadian poet John Pass has been published widely in his own country and also in the US, the UK and Ireland. His most recent work, crawlspace is Pass’s follow-up volume to his Governor General’s Literary Award winner, Stumbling in the Bloom.

Of the two short poems below, Pass says:

I left these pieces out of crawlspace although they speak in some degree to the book’s engagement with the constraints and limitations of experience, aging. They were too simplistically “cramped” perhaps, a bit mean-spirited; they fail their own tests, in short. Even so, they have topical interest I think, are somewhat clever and amusing, might be valid as social critique.

‘Domain Name’ speaks to the disconnect between poetry’s traditional domain(s), its/their refusal be named maybe, and the arbitrary use of the term for website identification. ‘Heard Word’ is a jibe at Spoken Word performance poetry that seems to me to entertain too fervently, expect too little of audience and in so doing deprive listeners of the deepest
hearing experience poetry has to offer-- its refusal of anything less than elegiac, contemplative, intimate voice.


Domain Name

I’m thinking All (.ca) Partial

to icon, myth wraith, map daemon.
Shape of metaphor. Amorphous figure

in amorphous shade. Light-hearted.
Made of arrival. Unmade bed.

Where I will (oh will I?) (oh
yes!) lie.

Heard Word

How about heard word now? Past
spoken, something

new under the fun. To send one

away warm, sure, but . . .
No. More than thoughtful, but . . .

No. With nowhere to go but grief.