So many times trying to change,
shapeshifting, reforming, rethinking
from age to age –
How old I might be so far?
How many of myself have died,
then rejuvenated again and again
I wonder if there’s anyone who could tell me,
from my former lives
that who I am for real. –
All those people knowing someone,
then losing me
in great disappointment
has pity for a me.
Now, I am myself, but just for a while,
failing myself again and again. –
I don’t know who I am,
I don’t know who I was.
Just being, rebeing,
every body, including a self.
I wish I could be in war against myself,
so, at least, some of me could win,
but I hold no one in my hands,
and it was empty
for longer I could remember.
I wonder whether there was
a child of me,
an honest lover,
or anybody with belief
in that there will be a day
there will be more than a day
to be and die as some one.
An empty, sand-built city is the felicity:
From far, it’s like a hive:
Busy bustle’s around the crowdy castle,
Green gardens surround the apartments,
Rumours and humours go on like fresh water.
You keep wrestling with your thirst,
Asking with an outstanding misunderstanding:
Where is the oasis you promised?
My heart has been exhorted many times, a lot-
Avoid emotions if you stand on a material land;
Keep such feelings for your Christian God,
Or your heart will be cut across.
I’ve listened on no omen since I’ve got to be born,
I’ll die as my heart died – stubborn.
My soul has been exhorted many times, a lot-
Avoid emotions if you stand on a spiritual land;
Keep such feelings for your Muslim God,
Or your soul will crescently descend.
I’ve listened on no omen since I’ve got to believe,
I’ll die as my soul descended – naive.
My mind has been exhorted many times, a lot-
Avoid emotions if you wish to stand on the land;
Keep such feelings for your brain’s cloud,
Or your mind will be fully fooled.
I’ve listened on no omen since I’ve got my brain,
I’ll die as my mind fooled me – insane.
You came with a stake, not with flower,
you quarreled with the wild blue yonder,
you promised gold with a big container,
to your mother and now you’re just here, sitting,
like crazy mushrooms on the tree-stump,
( so is the one, if there’s any, to a lil chump),
you’re locked as the Seven Towers’ dump
and you’ll be never be escaping.
Why did you bite into stone with milk teeth?
Why did you hurry if you left beneath?
Why didn’t you dream under your sheet?
What should we have finally said?
You always made yourself uncovered,
you always scratched your wounds, never recovered,
you are famous if it’s that you desired.
And how many weeks are the world? You mad.
You loved? Who was bound to you?
You were hiding? Who chased you?
Win what you can, if you can cope through,
you have no knife, nor a loaf of bread.
You are locked into the Seven Towers,
rejoice if you can afford hot showers,
rejoice, for there are soft bolsters,
to lower down nicely your head.
Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Karóval jöttél…” (1937).
Like sprinkling dust on the paper,
Moulding itself into mud;
Sound the words of the pauper,
Forming his tears into flood.
His need is not a bigger pocket,
Or a fam of a good blood;
His thirst made him a bitter poet,
Being lost in the flood.
Flood of a baby’s first cry to the world,
Seeing everything newly indifferent;
He wishes for a straight world unwhirled,
Wishing not being so different.
Dirting the paper with stolen words,
From sloppy worlds of others;
The pauper gets deeper in his thirst,
And goner in others’.
Sodden paper-pieces in the mud,
Like flood-brought thrashes;
But they didn’t came with the flood,
Just from a former poet’s ashes.
I’ve got a life sentence for every moment of happiness
because a thousand lives are lived by the one who thinks,
and has no living, only in his thinking of
dim fantasies and happenings of
what we had and now we don’t.
I had paid with terror for every evening tale of happiness
in the comatose moments of an easeless clock
that turnes the scenes in glance of shock
from dull peace and meekness
into whirling nightmares.
I paid dear for gazing at every unmerited gems of happiness
that were clearly not meant for such filthy hands,
holding torture in past and hast in the future
for once, ending that doubtful esurience
for all the good that I was bad for.
I’m paying an ocean for every single drop of happiness
that buries me with a million tons of darkness,
hits me with a thousand Newtons of waves,
and suffocates me without measure
for only the thoughts I had, have.
I’ll be paying a never-enough price for the least of happiness
because I’m destined for the opposite of good,
and I am still kicking away the bad mood
that always had cradled, peddled
and will have settled me.
“Benyamin, I want you to speak.”
Still darkness and silence.
“Tell me what is wrong.”
Sounds are reflecting from the deep.
“I won’t give up on you. Speak.”
My inhumanity is awakening.
“Are you listening to me?”
*I am obliged to listen since you speak.*
“Your stance is hurting me.”
*I am sorry?*
“What is wrong?”
*What is wrong?*
“You are not the same.”
*I am who I am.*
*I just need a little silence.*
*Don’t worry about me.*
(Neither I do, nor about you.
Also, if you can’t give up on me, I can do.
As well as on you.)
Is there any regret?
“Benyamin, I want you to speak.”