A Note on Survival


Dito Khupenia

                    in translation by Manana Matiashvili





When the last sun threw last particles of light,

when the whores picked up the last crumbles of their dignity,

when all the bloody tyrants discovered

one and the same motif for emitting tears,

I got poetry pregnant.

And all the souls experienced personification into it:

everyone who were made mute unwillingly,

who make themselves smile among people,

who were left alone with the corpse of a parent,

who thought of the catafalques as if they were racehorses,

who stopped to count the debts and the days of life,

who prescribed schizophrenia to the souls

that had come out of the walls in silence,

who were forsaken by genetics or vice versa —

who have forsaken the genetics because

there were always some Becauses, some Wheres,

Whens, the Circles Like This and so on;

Those who had planted coffins

and got the harvest of marble.

One who was crucified and brought to life later;

Who was slapped on one cheek and thereafter

showing the other cheek to them was his answer.

That who was born as a still child

or found the final tomb

in the infertile uterus of mother.


I got poetry pregnant.

And then He was born.

Soon he took off the corpse of its mother

as it were a piece of rented clothes.

Then he washed off the possible failure

as make-up from his face.

At last He said:

Look at me before you kneel,

more I look like God than Man

and more I can produce than God.

I am a collector of innovations.

I am the first who will step first on the snow, fresh

every time it comes.

I am the source of the new era

and the scaffold for those

who is still chained to past.

I am the sun that will quench your tears,

I am the star to shine for those

who were lost in the dark desert.

I am the voice of the genii

who were born untimely.

Am the voice of soldiers

who were digested by vultures.

I am the faith and the hope of the believers

standing beside the corpses of all the saints.

I am a time myself in this period of time!

I am a note on survival!









Dito Khupenia is a Georgian poet and performance artist.  He studied Sociology at Sukhumi State University.  His first poetry collection Crucifix on Poems was published in 2014.  He is a frontman for the musical groups: Reactive Angels and Red X Society. 


Manana Matiashvili is a Georgian translator, literary scholar and academic.  As a Ph.D she works in the field of Translation Studies.  She has translated poetry, children’s literature, drama and scientific books from English, Norwegian and Russian languages into her native Georgian as well as Georgian poets into English.  She was awarded the Vakhushti Kotetishvili prize 2010 for the translation of Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry, and Rustaveli Theatre/Tumanishvili Foundation prize 2007 for the translation of a play by Sarah Kane.