Thought and soughed

I’m dizzy, drunk and dumb,
Tho’ no alcohol touched my tongue;
No Hennesy of Islamic heresy,
No, I didn’t take any heavy to be heady.

I’m in daze, drought and dung,
My life is empty, but not an easy run;
It’s an endless intoxication,
Dragged and druged by self-interrogation.

Whether a shot would amend my inner weather?
Whisky with coke to feel better?
Sending me to hell from this hellish place?
Living-dying on the worldly drugs of my race?

Benyamin Bensalah


The weather is funny

The weather is funny today
As it has been yesterday,
And before.

Lightsome smileys,
Thunderclaps and silences.

From the snow, flowers rising,
From clouds, sun shining,
Awesome surprises.

The weather is funny;
Whether it’s resin or honey,
Honestly, I’m fond of its nature.

I’m really weatherbeaten, tho
After all I went through,
It’s still funny.

Benyamin Bensalah


Somebody wrote this

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,
rebelling, deceiving
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,
inside me.
It’s empty,
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.

Benyamin Bensalah



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.

Benyamin Bensalah


Jacques Prévert : La Grasse Matinée

It is terrible
the sound of the broken hard-boiled egg on a tin counter
this noise is terrible
when it moves in the memory of a hungry man
the head of the man is terrible too
the head of a hungry man
when he looks at himself at six in the morning
through the glass of a big store
a dust-colored head
that is not his head even if he’s looking at it
through the showcase of At Potin
he doesn’t care about his head of a man
he doesn’t think of it
he fancies
he fancies another head
a head of a calf for instance
with a vinegar sauce
or a head of anything that is to eat
and he slowly moves his jaw
and he creaks his teeth slowly
because the world pays off his head
and he can do nothing against this world
and he counts on his finger one two three
one two three
it’s been three days he ate
and it may repeat itself for three days
it can’t last
it lasts
three days
three nights
without eating
and behind these windows
these pasties, these bottles, these conserves
dead fish protected by boxes
boxes protected by windows
windows protected by cops
cops protected by fear
what barricades for six unhappy sardines..
A little further the bistro
coffee with cream and warm croissants
the man hesitates
and inside his head
a mist of words
a mist of words
sardines to eat
hard-boiled egg coffee with cream
coffee and rum
coffee with cream
coffee with cream
coffee with crime laced with blood! ..
A highly esteemed man in his neighborhood
was slit in broad daylight
the assassin vagabond stole him
two francs
fair enough for a laced coffee
zero franc seventy
two buttered sandwiches
and twenty-five cents for the boy’s tip.
It is terrible
the sound of the broken hard-boiled egg
on a tin counter
this sound is terrible
when it moves in the memory of a hungry man.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from the French poem of Jacques Prévert, “La Grasse Matinée*”.

*La Grasse Matinée: Sleeping late and eating well in the morning


It bugged me from the very beginning
that I wanted to be wanted,
listened to others who didn’t listen,
nor stopped for a while
to ask: what do you want?

Even so, I never got bugged in the ol’ routine,
doing and doing again and again
what has been said,
and hoping that it led
me, somewhere.

Debugging the truth, it did have led
as well as anything would have
because if I learnt something
is definitely that
it will always be someway.

So, the bug wasn’t in the system,
but rather it was me;
for what reason I would see
elsehow, while no one

This attitude turned me to a big bug
of nihilism and other ism,
anything related to carelessness;
to show up: you can ignore me,
I’m always the one who cares less.

Benyamin Bensalah