Four Poems by Irakli Kakabadze
Georgian-born Irakli Kakabadze began writing at age twelve. Since then he has published more than fifty short stories and essays. His novel Allegro, or The Chronicle of One Year received the Best Literary Creation Award from the Georgian magazine Tsiskari in 1990.
During his youth Kakabadze became heavily involved in anti-Soviet Georgian politics. At the age of twenty-one he was elected to the National Forum of Georgia. Though Kakabadze formally retired from politics in the early 1990s when Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected president, he has remained active as a private citizen and taken part in non-violent protests, including one in 2003.
After several arrests for his participation in protests against the Georgian government Kakabadze relocated to Ithaca, New York in 2008. While in the US he pioneered two new styles of performance art, SHMAZI Transformative Performance, a method of street theater that attempts to investigate the underlying causes of violence, and Polyphonic Discourse, a method of performance that Kakabadze says involves “simultaneous readings of poetry in different languages, transcending cultural conditions through the language of universal poetry.”
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh had the opportunity to work with Kakabadze during the 2009 Jazz Poetry Concert where he performed with local musician cooperative Nicopress. Last month Sampsonia Way asked Kakabadze for some of his unpublished work and received four poems: “Penicillin Mini Opera,” “Information Highway Song,” “Condominium of Free Will,” and “Generation of Faithless Monks.”
These poems are presented below as a Sampsonia Way Exclusive.