Zurab Rtveliashvili









Roll the summer over me!

Roll the spring over me!

Roll them over my body

like a tank –

roll them over my body!


I am a bed.

This writer is lying on my chest.

Sometimes, I pass him a cigarette

for him to smoke as he writes

and sometimes, like a termite I destroy sheet after sheet!

Or sometimes, with a subtle nudge I strengthen a key turn of phrase …

I am a scale!

For many years I have been hauling up

the stanzas of all the writer-insects

and poets like a crane.

I pass some tobacco to the poets

who are spread-eagled on my body,

so that page by page

they build

the storeys

of the text.


To him – who could not compromise Poetistan,

To him – who could not yield Tiranastan,

To him – who could not yield Tyranistan,

To him – who could not yield Afghanistan

To him – who could not yield Tajikistan,

To him – who could not yield Tbilisistan


Roll the summer over him!

Roll the spring over him!

Roll them over his body

like a tank –

roll them over his body!




Letter from Geneva

(or several versions of the reasons why Mr Rtveliashvili was not detained)*


He had suspiciously erased one word in his poem.

He was unable to compose his lines before the deadline.

Why didn’t you detain Mr. Rtveliashili?

Pay attention to his unusual way of speaking.


Couldn’t you have taken appropriate measures for his detention? (!!!)

When he measured his stanzas with prohibited rhymes,

does the writer’s mind work correctly?

Don’t obscene questions bother him in sleep?


Last night in his bed he was flat out.

He tossed and turned so violently he disturbed his wife.

Why didn’t you detain Mr. Rtvelishvili?!!!

A humanitarian worker posed this question from Geneva…





* The international organisation for the protection of human rights, ‘Human Rights Watch’, addressed several Georgian NGOs with various questions regarding the detention by the law enforcement authorities of members of the Equality Institute, namely , Irakli Kakabadze, Levan Gogichaishvili, Davit Dalakishvili and Jaba Jishkariani. One of the questions was rather strange: ‘Why was Mr Rtveliashvili not detained?’



Translation made by MANANA MATIASHVILI













 Poet and performer Zurab Rtveliashvili is from Georgia. He was very active in the « Rose Revolution », 2003. Rtveliashvili has been persecuted and arrested several times as a consequence of his performances, and arrived as guest writer in Stockholm City of Refuge in 2010.

His works include I-Retsqia (1997), Apokrifi (2001) and Anarqi (2006). He has also featured in the documentary film At the top of my voice (2009).




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