Pierre Reverdy : Late in life

I’m hard

I’m tender
  
                             and I lost my time
                             dreaming without sleeping
                             sleeping while walking

wherever I passed by
I found my absence
I am nowhere

Except the nothingness
but I’m hiding at the top of the bowels
At the place where the lightning has hit too often
a heart where every word left its keenness
and where my life drops to the slightest move.

Benyamin Bensalah

13.09.2020

Translated from the French poem of Pierre Reverdy, “Tard dans la vie”(1960).

Amourtisseur

The pressure, pressure and pressure,
year to year, day to day
from people, people and situations
is smashing, crashing every one of us
with all possible forces.

Where is the possible counterforce
that could be against,
that could save you from breaking,
that could save others to explode on them
with a dark mushroom-cloud of anger?

What could be better counterforce
than just simply smiling,
and dissolve the pressure of others,
bringing a bright day into the cosmic mess
with radioactive kindness!

Benyamin Bensalah

10.09.2020

Riceology

Boiling rice may be a bogey;
We are cooking, stirring, working on it,
Then, we get a gluing paste for our fatigue.

But boiling rice is a simple act;
Only if you’re following a couple fact,
My scientific, tricky receipt step by step.

Firstly, you measure the rice;
Take a mug once and twice and thrice,
So you see, it’s science, not a play of dice.

Then, the water is coming,
And here is my first trick coming;
How many times you must be mugging?

An ordinary cooker,
Would take double water,
Pouring six mugs of fresh blunder.

But me! The chef Benyamin,
I choose to put three and a half in,
Letting the rice to swim, not sinking.

But above all of this,
Here are my other magic tricks;
Frying the rice for five mins or six.

After it got golden brown,
I pour hot water on it muggly owned,
Then, I leave the rice under a cover to boil.

After lil lodge-podgy,
We can check our moody foodie;
And it was the first lesson of riceology.

Benyamin Bensalah

09.10.2017

Buildings

See the edges of the buildings –
White buildings, red buildings!
What monstrous and numerous are those things!
From the upper highness,
As from viewing up from their legs,
They are giantly erupting like trees.
But what are these?
What are these?
Not like trees that arise from the seeds,
Are they just there?
Just like that?!

Ask who did build those buildings –
Roofed buildings, bald buildings!
What squared shape they have,
What eminence some of them holds.
But who asks about them?
And who cares
after all?

See all those what’s heard of buildings –
Greek buildings, Ottoman buildings!
Does mortal eyes’ seeing see these things?
The glazed ceramics and corinthian crinklings
Under the seas and upon the skies,
The art of the architect’s,
Or the pain of the masons by whom the brick lies?

See nothing what’s in the buildings –
Commercial buildings, industrial buildings!
Even the one who sits, stands in these things
Sees only prisons fenced in wall by wall.
As in a zoo, they are inclosed in the buildings.
People see people only feeding
When running out of the buildings.

See the monstrous, numerous buildings –
Breathing buildings, oppressing buildings!
They eat up the landscape
And even other buildings.
In them, people and people and people,
Working and eating without seeing
The buildings and buildings and buildings,
Digesting the people, the look
While they are seething and eating us till we go.
Though, they’re not seeing what those buildings do
Because they are just buildings after all.

Benyamin Bensalah

13.02.2019

Eye of a corn

Pop.
The first left.
Pop. Pop.
The second and third.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
Going becomes a hype.
Pop.
Another one.
Pop. Pop.
I feel it salty to leave.
Pop.
I feel fever to go.
Pop.
Hot pressure.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
They go with pleasure.
Pop. Popop.
What’s going on?
Popop. Pop. Popop.
Is it a must to go?
Pop.
My ears are buzzing.
Pop.
The world’s reeling.
Pop.
Silence.
Pop.
Silence.
Silence.
Maybe, it’s the last.
Silence.
Maybe, it’s over.
Sure.
We are in safe.
Stayed many of us.
Out of the yellow mass.
Yes!
I told you.
Don’t mess with me.
Silence.
Alas!
Pop.

Benyamin Bensalah

15.05.2016

The Violin

The Violin
was amongst
my first inspirations
as a child
gifted by poetry,
instead of
happiness.
The childish poem sounded somewhat
like these lines, but in my mother tongue:
(Even if poetry
is a language itself.)
“My heart is like a violin with its cords;
When I’m easy on them, it plays kindly,”
(Nice metaphor;
wasn’t I a smart kid?)
“But when I force on it, it cries up and breaks,
Leaving every heart in a broken silence.”
(Oh, woow,
that’s the ol’ me.)
This is the poem on which I got the warning:
“Sane kids don’t write such gibberish larking!”.
That was harming,
but the world
harmed me more
than such words;
so, I didn’t stop
writing because of a
badly criticized
poem, named:
The Violin.
However, I felt
weird towards
that instrument
from then.
I watched weirdly
the rich kids
playing on them freely;
without nobody
telling to them:
You are insane
Doing what you do,
that rubbish larking.
That was hard to understand that time
why one’s art was seen crazy, and other’s playing was genius.
But after some materialistically and socially hitting slaps on my face,
I understood how it is exactly working with this terrible human race:
The rich that follows and serves the example of enjoying being
will be never replaced by the deep thinker wrapped up in grieving.
Realizing it was sad, but truth is enlightening.
This is why I returned to this magical instrument, now,
with its amazing sounds that leave my heart happily crying.
Just a decade and some years before, I was comparing my heart to those cords
that can make such a beauty the Earth is barely able to hold, within such a sadness,
within such a chance to fail and ruin everything, leaving rooms in heart-torn silence.
This divine instruments must not be played but by the devil
who knows what is true sin, and how gets fallen a daredevil.
Let the devil take the cords, let him take my heart with them, too.
I’ve needed no more than to truly know what is hiding in
this world and this heart that makes me love
a sad and gloomy while also pompous
violin playing.

Benyamin Bensalah

01.01.2020

A summer in Constantine

There’s no summer as best summer
In my achromatic life;
However, I’ve remembered
When I was Dani’s guide.

One of my friends, if there’s any,
Came to me in Algiers;
Checking the white Africans,
And facing all his fears.

I showed him the world of Aladdin
That he couldn’t see online;
Wonder after wonder,
Like the mountains of Constantine.

                     ***

Like the wrinkles of a stone-giant,
The place was super-high;
Forest camping at a school’s scout
Was a must to try.

Dani fell in love with Islam,
Having no stirrup;
He said Salam, labas, bismlah,
And Hamdullah to burp.

Mocking people everywhere,
We were Hungarians;
Like superior intruders,
We conquered the lands.

                     ***

Breakfast of the morning sunshine
With some cafeteria
Burnt the freedom to our mind
Through that utopia.

How could one forget the hot wind,
The cold lake of the hollow;
The lost billiard matches at night
As our only sorrow.

Now, that time flew far far away,
As far as Constantine;
But I still keep the memory,
Till it’s no longer mine.

Benyamin Bensalah

19.04.2018