Writing simultaneously in Georgian and English, Irakli Kakabadze travels between activism in the Republic of Georgia and exile in the United States, continually refining his vision of pacifist poetics. With deep roots in the Futurists and the Beats, these bold, funny, and ardent poems dismantle language to shatter expectations and create a new world.
“Kakabadze is rhyme-crazy and it shows. If he doesn’t find a word in English that he needs, he makes one up. If the rules of grammar or punctuation don’t suit his sonic needs, he breaks them. But there’s more going on here than just the urgency of expression bursting out through a second language. Kakabadze is creating cognitive and linguist dissonance to challenge bourgeois reality and ‘destroy the congeniality of the line’ in a rebellion against consumerism.”
-- from the introduction by Bridget Meeds
80 pages (bilingual English/Georgian)
from Land of Flowers
SLAVE TO MY MORTGAGE
I am a full-time, young worker
and I’m a slave of my mortgage.
Payments are due every month,
and also visits to my aunt.
I need to accumulate property,
a dream of my friend Lilly Daugherty,
and if I follow this step by step process,
I’ll be wealthier than Malcolm X.
That’s what my dear Mama often told me,
when she used to talk and hold me,
“If you are not wealthy,
you can be sure you’ll never be healthy.”
I was told this every day,
and I’m a mortgage slave today.
And then I met this gorgeous girl,
I fell in love, I don’t know when,
I told her that I have a house,
and I always watch my Mickey Mouse,
that I have very, very busy days,
todays, tomorrows, yesterdays.
She doesn’t care about my house,
nor does she like my Mickey Mouse.
She just wants to have my heart,
it’s not important if I have a good credit card.
But I don’t have time to give her my heart,
I need to do too many things.
I want to give her all my heart,
but I don’t know where I should start.
Oh, mommy, mommy, I am a good boy,
but I don’t want to be a mortgage toy.
Hey, Mr. Lincoln, come to the world again
and liberate me from a faceless slavery,
slavery of the mortgage that I owe,
and make me free to love, love, love.