You Step Into Your Own Ring


Kristina Hočevar

you step into your own ring and ending always where you stop making circles.

there’s eye shadow on your lids, aluminum on teeth and chalk on lips.

                                                                                                                     your memory

is spit out like a blob of chewing gum.

people are rolling from screen to screen,

turning away from wet skin. next time you wish to spin the ring,

you lick the chalk, smear the eyelids, saw up the aluminum; where you’re absent,

you step on chewing gum.

where do I stop splitting in two as my concentric circles

cling to the set of circles from some memory.

hands that once rubbed the stains of clotted plasma off the tiles touched

your walls, beforehand they had shaken a foreign hand and scraped

the grime off the table, they had handled a door handle previously handled a thousand other times, touched

the keyboard, torn paper and wiped feces off skin, they rubbed against

each other under water.  afterwards they ate, trained the thinning of

gesture. where do words multiply after splitting; where do I

end when the face stops beginning, where another face faces mine in disbelief. where

the smile of the face is the mirror’s smile where bliss exists, but the other face doesn’t


where.                                                                                                                                       where

the set of circles from the memory and the set of circles from the mental images

join in the touching of hands. where?

(translated by Andrej Pleterski and Ravi Shankar, from Aluminum on the Teeth and Chalk on the Lips 2012)

language is suppressed inside your mouth.

it librates

liberates itself in poetry.      this is poverty,

an invalid communication.                  so you see.

so you see.

(edited by Ravi Shankar, 2016)

Kristina Hočevar

Kristina Hočevar

Kristina Hočevar (1977) is a poet and graduate of Slovene Language and General Linguistics at the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts. She has written five books of poetry: V pliš (Into Plush, Cankarjeva založba 2004), Fizični rob (The Physical Edge, Cankarjeva založba 2007), Repki (Little Tails, Škuc 2008), Nihaji (Oscillations, Cankarjeva založba 2009) and Na zobeh aluminij, na ustnicah kreda (Aluminium on Teeth, Chalk on Lips, Škuc 2012). LittleTails received the Golden Bird Award and was nominated for the Veronika Award. Aluminium on Teeth, Chalk on Lips won the Jenko Prize awarded by the Slovene Writers’ Association. Her poetry has been translated into different languages and published in magazines and anthologies abroad. The voice of Hočevar’s poetry is among the most spirited and dynamic on the Slovenian literary scene while also remaining sensitive and socially conscious.
Kristina Hočevar

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