The Argotist Online
Lisi was a friend who died in 2010. She was talented in many areas but
her passion was for photography. The following is how she described herself in
2005, when I asked her for some biographical information that I could put
alongside poems by her at The Argotist Online:
I grew up enveloped in the arts. My father read my brother and I ancient stories before slumber and I heard my mother sing arias upon awakening. Music and myth are where much of my inspiration arises. The rest comes from nature and my experiential and emotional well. Writing is a resting place for me. It is also a safe place for me to dream unveiled, placate pins and needles and scream sordid secrets. I share my life with Sitka, one well-named and well-fed cat. I enjoy the works of Neil Young, Kate Bush, Leonor Fini, Edward Gorey, Michael Parkes, Emily Dickinson, John C. Gardner, Carl Theodor Dryer and Terry Gilliam who glimmer among countless others. I enjoy a good red wine, strong coffee and contagious laughter. I am so very happy to be here.
In 2010 she died, a couple
of days before her 40th birthday. I had known her since 2003, though only
online. However, we developed a friendship via email that lasted until her
death. In 2007 she did a marvellously haunting cover photograph for my poetry
ebook, Carrier of the Seed; and also two ebook cover designs for
Argotist Ebooks, which she did during the last year of her life. She was working
on a third cover shortly before her death.
Her website, Kundavega (sadly no longer
online), included her photography and poetry.
Here is part of her introduction to the site:
name is Rachel Lisi. This small corner of cyber space allows me to share
different things with you. For some time I have been following the crafts of
photography and poetry finding many hills and valleys along the way. I am still
trying to find the right path, but surrendering to the guidance of the day and
night and every turn of my imagination. As always, I continue to evolve and
learn within this circle of creating.
For many years she was an active member
of the Kate Bush fan forum, Homeground,
which is how I came to meet her. There is a thread there noting her passing,
which can be seen here.
there are two Live Journal blogs she kept that are still online. One for herself
and one for a small press she was planning to start. They can be found here
and here. And a Facebook tribute group for her can be found here.
Over the years she had been a loyal and supportive friend to me,
and I feel privileged to have known her. I will always remember her.
Some Poems by Rachel Lisi
Queens of Dark Suns
DIFFERENT KIND OF GOLD RUSH
pages in rustling attic leaves
a haunting here
spoken, but the breezed silence.
sifting through Grandma's things
coming to an understanding
Grandma was a woman once, a girl, an infant,
fetus - perhaps unwanted.
flowers for journal entries turned dustied mold
the day turns
the day turns
the day turns
that could not be told within wrinkled folds
long ago - lost comb with rusted teeth and ancient topaz,
of a now gone life before the world war
that indigo jazz
the red-washed beach
the bullet and bloodied razzmatazz
ghosts waltz their way in and out of stained pages
images of sepia-ed ages
granddaughter's honeyed braids
the shades of decades
chill still dancing like the rain
with the weight of water
fire and milk and rose petal slaughter
were of dead lovers
never got over grandma, but died well in love)
were of aunties
to Madonna, Baba Yaga, the old man above)
of a dog
and found on the tracks half-dead)
of a cat
and blind with a penchant for the sun-drenched bed)
am not sleeping, but I do dream silently
to the child up there sifting - looking for me
different kind of Gold Rush
that has remained hush-hush
that will push us gently
us gently into the riches that only
and the trees and the sea can understand.
down upon the king of cities.
tickle trust daring a
into the chaotic brew.
if they catch you.
with haze into the clouds.
heed of the angels' sing song laugh.
has been frayed,
the holy at bay.
eyed wild world,
waiting for the exhale.
with the lawless divine
on the universal spine.
on and flayed
need for vincristine
is a tell
on a fire
auld grimalkin's vox
the Iroquois play Zydeco
diatribes and dissonance
and blues and arrows
fox prays well with lugworm
he smells the Jessamine
the light of her moon