Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Gatwick Express

Death delayed me.

Splattered Matter-of-Fact

Frazzled flesh

Diverted my travel thoughts



Cool lakes, hot white

Pavements and deep

Red Wine to


Final moments.


Flash of White

Before a Lightning Death


I was nervous about returning to Georgia. The last time I had been there I had spent a week looking in a bathroom mirror, crying and trying to deny the undeniable truth.  I had been lied to. I had lied to myself.  I needed to get home quietly, without drawing attention to myself or arousing suspicion. And I needed to put some distance between myself and him, both geographically and emotionally. I also needed to cancel the tour. It was 2012 so the cuts to arts funding were starting to really hit and sponsorship from private companies with a reason to promote Georgia had dried up as they either went bust or were taken over by bigger companies who realised backing Georgia was not a great business choice.   It was easy to do in the end. I just wrote e-mail s explaining the financial situation. I think I managed to hide, or at least disguise the real reason, for a time any way.


Saakashvili was on his way out and the effects surrounding the intentions of the agent provocateur  Ivanishvilli could be heard in heated discussions all over Tbilisi. The February of 2012 saw temperatures of -18 C during the day and when visiting friends in other post-soviet apartment blocks I had to step over great  fallen columns of ice cut from  water pipes that ran down the outside of grey crumbling  tower blocks. It did not feel safe.  I did not feel safe. It was not safe. The streets reeked of poverty and decay. Weekly food banks had appeared under stern white canvas tents in certain parts of town and  rumour had it that  food was being made available for a pittance by the Russian Oligarch, soon to be Prime Minister, to compensate for the  lack of money in the economy. This money, now no longer available had been money he himself had been donating to various cultural, political and social institutions, had now stopped,  in a series of tit for tat moves between the UNM and the emerging Georgian Dream. Like in a chess game, the weaker pieces fell, or were culled, the elderly, the poor, the dispossessed, froze to death, or starved. There was little outward acrimony towards homosexuals or Muslims then, people were preoccupied with surviving.

The last contact I had had with him had been when he had told me he could hire assassins in London to kill me if I did not shut up. He wanted me to stop all my involvement in Georgia, he wanted me to stop singing, to stop talking, he did not want me to expose his criminal activities, his lies, his corruptions and he wanted me to believe that I was the one with the problem.  It was the death threats that made me contact the police. Yes, I was very nervous about returning to Georgia, very nervous indeed.

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