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Vesna Liponik: roko razje


Vesna Liponik: eats away the hand (ŠKUC, 2019)


Vesna Liponik (1993, Maribor) is a postgraduate student of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory and Slovenian Language at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Her work has been published in several literary magazines, including Idiot, Literatura, Dialogi, Apokalipsa and mosaik22. She has been translated into Serbian, German, Hungarian and English. Her first poetry collection roko razje (eats away the hand) was published in 2019 by Škuc-Lambda. She participated at the third international poetry festival Lyrik für Alle, organised by Babelsprech in Salzburg (2016) and the first international conference on the LGBTQ+ literature in Eastern Europe Go East! at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana (2018). Her photographs appeared in Edit Paf, a book of poetry by Andreja Štepec (Šerpa, 2018). She is a member of the Lesbian Quarter Festival Collective and collaborates with For the Animals!, a society for the assertion of animal rights.

The fragmented, ragged syntax in eats away the hand may be understood as very accurate thinking. As a »crawling« speaker. As her attempt at a dialogue with nonhuman beings. Pushing against the possibilities of speaking to them and about them. And constant catching of breath from the strain of these attempts. Catching breath as a rhythm. Here there is no agonising over the impossibility of such a task, just the extreme urgent necessity of making it possible. Although the manner of this strenuous work is linguistic, due to the nature of the medium, this language does not fit the usual metaphor of voice. This language works with hands, which are gushing in, digging, uprooting, poking, bringing, putting down, taking, catching, beating, wrapping, burying, scratching, chiselling, touching, pushing, holding, protecting, as well as vacuuming, folding, moving, caressing and, finally, hurting from all this »handling«. It seems the only thing the hands never do is rest. Perhaps the question here is not so much whose or which hands are these, but rather what is the thing they are reaching for all the time. The answer could be literally at hand – in a fist and on the fingers, in a kind of invocation of hand-ness itself: »there where hands.« Either in a passionate lesbian relationship, in dealings with animals and plants, in becoming soil as a fruit farmer, or in a costermonger’s relationship with the parents and death: in her furious earthy book debut, Liponik is »the tongue and the hand and all«. – Uroš Prah




one night

in the orchard

I see

my father


interred in the innards

of an absent apple tree

and out of his

torn back


a scabbed twisted


he laughs

and I know

he`ll turn the whole thing

into a joke


Translated by Erica Johnson Debeljak






you scratch

a trough hard plastic and

I`m afraid it will be in the sea then

it will

you know

I`m so small now so

I`m all

there I like you again before

little one

I don`t know what you think

what racoon                 I did

wash you

near the morning

put you to bed

then again

I ran


a room a night and bambo and

I think I know

we are both there

through the nose the body the night

returns into the tunnel

between the hands

bent tumescent and

you seek me

there where      hands



Translated by Vesna Liponik





the rabbit ran with a rabbit mask he was touching death



Translated by Vesna Liponik






the forest is burning

have you called this forest


do you think this is why it is burning



Translated by Vesna Liponik




so give me your solitude

put it into my mouth

so I’ll know where


Translated by Barbara Jurša

Kar v ‘Roko razje’ deluje kot fragmentirana, prav natrgana skladnja, je moč razumeti kot neko zelo točno mišljenje. Govor »gomazečega« subjekta. Njen poskus dialoga z nečloveškimi bitji. Zaganjanje ob možnosti govora z njimi in o njih. In od napora nad temi poskusi nenehno lovljenje sape. Lovljenje sape kot ritem. Tukaj ni tarnanja nad nemožnostjo takega podviga, le neka skrajna nujnost narediti ga za možnega. Če je zaradi narave medija način tega težaškega dela pač jezikoven, pa ta jezik ni zajet v običajni metafori glasu. Ta jezik dela z rokami, ki derejo, kopljejo, ruvajo, izkoreninjajo, izbezajo, prinesejo, polagajo, jemljejo, ulovijo, tolčejo, zavijajo, zagrebejo, grebejo, dolbejo, se dotikajo, kopljejo, porivajo, držijo, varujejo, tudi sesajo, zlagajo, prelagajo, božajo in nenazadnje bolijo od vsega tega rokovanja. Zdi se, da edino počivajo nikoli ne. Tukaj morebiti ne gre toliko za vprašanje, katere roke so to, temveč prej, kaj je tisto, po čemer ves čas segajo. Odgovor bi lahko bil dobesedno na dlani, v pesti in prstih (in prsti), v nekakšnem zaklinjanju ročnosti same: »tam kjer roke.« Bodisi v strastnem lezbičnem razmerju, v ravnanju z živalmi in rastjem, v sadjarskem postajanju gruda, ali v branjevskem odnosu s starši in smrtjo: v svojem furioznem zemeljskem prvencu je Liponik »jezik in roka in vsa«. – Uroš Prah

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