waiting for matrix 84

Posted by Daniela Elza on Oct 27 2009

It looks like Matrix 84: The New Vancouver issue is out. I am waiting for my copy to arrive. I have a poem in it called negotiating with the dead, a title that stuck with me after I read Margaret Atwood’s book with the same name. I wrote the poem while I was reading the book for a class and we had to write a re/view, or rather (as it appeared in the process of uncovering what a review really means), a book view.

The poem came out of an exercise called Wander for Wonder in which we were to go to a place we normally will not go to. A place that is not too familiar. And write from there. I had been promising myself every time I passed the Mountain View Cemetery that I should stop sometime, should walk sometime, should sit there sometime. But there was never time. And it so happened that one day I had to drop my son or daughter for a class or some activity and I found myself within proximity of the cemetery with a couple of hours to spend in the area before pick up time. So that is how the poem happened. I thought of how normal it was to be walking through and sitting with, and meditating upon. I only saw two or three other people there. An elderly woman was using the space for her fast paced walking exercise. And a woman with a dog sat under a tree, perhaps close to a grave, but was not sure if her visit was for someone buried there. Another woman seemed to be walking her dog. That was it. The place otherwise seemed deserted and here and there a flower, or ashes, or fruit left on an alter (that the crows kept checking out) were the only signs of someone having visited.
For my grandmother going to the cemetery was like going to the market. A necessity. Something that had to be done. There was no question about it.

Comments are closed.