Attila József : THE INVENTORY IS READY

I trusted only myself from the beginning –
if you have nothing, the cost will be willing
for the man. In no way it will be more
than for the animal that dropped not living anymore.
Even if I was scared, I found my stand-
I was born, I mingled and I did out-stand.
I even paid everyone just as was the measure,
who gave it for free, I accepted with pleasure.
Women, if I was play-toy for any of their flattery:
I believed it really – let them be happy!
I scrubbed ships, pulling buckets as my only tool.
Among smart gentlemen, I played the fool.
I sold spinners, breads and books,
newspapers, poems – whenever what smooths.
Not in a glorious combat, not on a gentle rope,
but I end up in a bed, sometimes I hope.
Either way, now the inventory is ready.
I lived – and even others have died in it already.

Benyamin Bensalah

18.02.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila Jozsef, “Kész a leltár” (1936).

Soumia Douifi : Charms

The joy of the mirrors with the faces passing
Turned the heart of the innocent cynically surpassing
Exposing the pain behind a firm face
Granting truth for a confused soul’s doubting
And the light sends my reflection to vain
As if I would be a start to the end closing
Invading the shades against the ego, annoying
Or just to contain an illusion that blocks the crossing
Like death, lowering its face in disdain
From the gentle twilight tone in red glowing
Sending the youth to mourning without warning
Or possessing the sorrow of a woman without resting
Said by her, in scattered voice, hopeless and insane
“These cities – just like my luck – are distressing”
She played on the strings of the mirrors inspired by her pain
As a dissonant silence in the nights while raining
Inhaling light / darkness as if been the same
She needs the miracle of the stars passing
So that it may elucidate the curse of a futile heart
Or by seconds into the past travelling
Might the mirror recognize the secret of her faces again?
That has the reflection of the deep wounding
Or might she need another face?
Until it becomes as she desired … pure and everlasting

Benyamin Bensalah

23.09.2018

Translated from the Arabic poem of Soumia Douifi, “سواحر” (Sawahir).

Peter Závada : Maybe

maybe it’s only the care’s false glamour
to believe: it is good for someone that you are
maybe only for that you are in need of someone’s amour
to make yourself believe that still lovable you are

maybe you never wanted to find her
it wouldn’t even hurt you if you did not
now, as she could easily be yours, maybe
it’s more important that she can be lost

so that you no longer have to blame yourself
because nobody wins this euchre
maybe what hurts you is that she weren’t really yours
and yet, you could still manage to lose her

Benyamin Bensalah

01.02.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Péter Závada, “Tán” (2011).

Attila József: Motivating

In China, there’s hanging tangerine.
Today has killed the cocaine.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep.
Today has killed the cocaine.

Through the window of the store
Till the cashier, sees the poor.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep.
Till the cashier, sees the poor.

Take a sausage and take some bread,
keep well your living breath.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep,
keep well your living breath.

Whoever will cook, will kiss, too,
once, there will be a woman, too.
The straw is buzzing, go to sleep,
once, there will be a woman, too.

Benyamin Bensalah

31.01.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Biztató” (1927).

Attila József: THE SEVENTH

In this world if you are hitting a camp,
seven times your mother shall give birth in cramp!
Once, be born inside a house burning,
once in an icy flood whirling,
once in a mental asylum fooling,
once in beautiful wheat swinging,
once in a monastery hollow-sounding,
once among pigs in the pigpen.
The six cries up, but what will be with you?
The seventh shall be you!

Enemy, if he comes before you,
shall find seven of you.
One who starts his day out of duty,
one who does his service orderly,
one who educates his nation freely,
one who was thrown into water to swim,
one who’s the seed of a forest coming,
one whose ancestors were defending him,
all tricks and guns are not enough, tho,

the seventh shall be you!

If you’d sweetheart a lover,
there shall be seven after her.
One who gives a heart for his word,
one who pays for his own hazard,
one who plays star-gazing,
one who’s in the skirt searching,
one who knows where’s the staple,
one who steps on the scarf with trample –
buzzing her like flies on a meat that’s blue!

The seventh shall be you.

If you’d poetize and there’s token,
there shall be seven writing that poem.
One who makes a village from marble,
one who was born in slumber,
one who measures the sky and nods unbothered,
one who is called on his name by the word,
one who strikes his soul,
one who autopsies a living rat in a bowl.
Scientists four, and warriors two,

the seventh shall be you.

And if all was as it was written,
as seven men, you shall be in a grave hidden.
One who’s cradled by a milky breast,
one who’s grabbing after a lusty breast,
one who throws away an empty bowl,
one who helps to win the poor,
one who works dropping soon,
one who just looks at the Moon:
Living under the world’s tomb!

The seventh shall be you.

Benyamin Bensalah

18.01.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem, “A hetedik” (1932) by Attila József.

Moonborn

Moonborn who’s dead in daylight
Screamed, for no reply despite.
C’mon! Who would reply someone
Whose words are just pun
Of someone.

Indeed it’s a little bit child-like,
But the moonlight is what I like.
The darkness is my only friend,
I need no one other to pretend,
A friend.

Like a modernized vampire, he flees
From the daylight promenades.
Though he bears it, but doesn’t love,
Rather he would choose a cove,
No one.

He is escaping day to day,
Chasing the night only to say:
Moonlight! Why I was born?
As a living, why I must mourn,
My self.

Moonborn who’s dead in daylight
Screamed, for no reply despite.
C’mon! Who would reply someone
Whose words are just pun
Of someone.

Benyamin Bensalah

02.08.2017

Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Hold szülötte” (2009).

To sit, to stand, to hug, to die

To push this chair away,
to croach in front of a train,
to climb a mountain carefully,
to shake my bag out in the valley,
to give a bee to my old spider,
to caress an old mother,
to eat a tasty brown bean chowder,
to pace on tiptoes, it’s muddy,
to put my hat down to the rail,
to go around the lake only,
to sit in its bottom clothed in vain,
to blush amongst the tinkling bubbles,
to flourish amongst sunflowers –
to give a nice sigh instead,
to hush a fly away only,
to dust my books when they get dirty, –
to spit into my mirror’s middle,
to sign my enemies’ peace treaty,
to kill them all with a long knife’s shearing,
examining the blood how it’s running,
looking after a girl how she’s turning over –
sitting standly, so as, instead,
burning up the capital,
to wait for birds at my morsel,
to throw my bad bread to the ground,
to make cry my good lover,
to grab her younger sister onto the lap
and if this world is my account,
leaving it so as to be in no more recount – –

oh, you tying, you dissolving,
now, on this poem typing,
making laughter, making crying,
oh, my life, you choice for trying!

Benyamin Bensalah

10.10.2019

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Ülni, Állni, Ölni, Halni”(1926).