Dezső Kosztolányi: Like someone who fell between the rails …

Like someone who fell between the rails …
And he feels his fading life all over,
while the hot wheels rumble with all power,
many-many oblique images are bursting up as a zigzag flare
and he sees, as he has never seen before:

Like someone who fell between the rails …
the infinite, distant life
says goodbye because it has become far fairy tales,
like someone who fell between the rails:

Like someone who fell between the rails –
wild panorama, awful pleasure –
between rails and between wheels,
the sad time rumbles over my head
and death thunders from afar,
for a minute I’m holding it, what is eternal,
butterflies, dreams, horrors, sweets:

Like someone who fell between the rails.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from the Hungarian poem of Dezső Kosztolányi, “Mint aki a sínek közé esett…”.


Some youthness’ dour or such to say
Since children mock; they cannot play
Since children hurt; they cannot feel
How painful is with what they deal.
Some shameless children can just flout
With shaming; t’is how they stand out
From those who simply are around;
Not knowing how; how deep’s that wound.
So- was my youthness, back in time
With the same struggled strife – child crime
As done or seen and rarely gained
Despite the time, the pain remained:
In the mindset, in the feeling,
In the core of my beleiving,
In the days of an adult
As having been in a cult,
In a jungle eating men
Like without like feeling them,
In no need to do that so
While they needed my help though
(Children are the worst animals)
Crippling men to be but gulls.

Benyamin Bensalah


Sick scrabble

Months, weeks, decades have passed;
was not good but I tried to love in the past,
imagining good dreams naively
that there is who loves me, friends who keep me,
but like just a good peasant
doing nothing,
now, here I am to put the sow …
I am putting an end to this show.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Beteg tegek” (2007).

Ma cabre

Every species developed their means
to perceive the surrounding
as well, every individual has its own design;
the birds crossing the sea,
the fish below where we can’t see,
the bugs dancing in ultraviolet.

So did I inherit and developed mine
of sensing this magnitude
to end my own design;
the trucks, the train, the cars,
the cigs, the drugs, the scars,
the heights’ and depths’ draw.

It’s ceaselessly pulling me hard,
sometimes I’m running
sometimes I accept this design;
pulling against, pushing for it,
crying – numbing, it remains horrid,
being in a force without control.

Benyamin Bensalah


Shovel, hoe and big bell

To burry the past for good,
to hurry the present and bring it forth,
to worry not what the future would hold;
I just need a shovel, a hoe and a big bell,
letting it hack and clatter and gong,
thinking nothing can go wrong.

To burry the present for good,
to hurry the future and bring it forth,
to worry not what the past could hold;
I just need a hoe, a big bell and a shovel,
letting it smack and dong and flatter,
knowing nothing does matter.

Benyamin Bensalah



The Past been a nightmare to wake from,
sometimes eating up the present,
being unable to tell whether it has an end;
the Future been the past’s mirror image,
warning signs or either sirens’ songs,
nothing that possibly cannot go wrong;
I was likely anchored, cornered to Present,
more like pulling the chains than living,
but this was already much from a dead being.

I walked every step with a blind resignation,
a person died and revived in me,
like someone stealing life and trying to flee;
the anchors I tried to undress so hard
kept undressing me slowly,
and here I am standing like nothing can control me;
the anchors I were fighting, life, have gone,
it feels no more grief, no more agony,
I’ve reached freedom through fatal cavity.

There’s no past I could face anymore,
none of me waits me in the future,
but here I am where I could have been sooner;
losing the pain through losing life,
I am free with a huge cavity,
and I am as ready to live as to face mortality;
I feel eager, no more than any,
just to live a bit more,
imagining there’s an anchor that makes me stay more.

Benyamin Bensalah


Cyanide questions

I’d be happy if I had some cyanide –
who wouldn’t be tho?
Is it a normal thing to think or I should hide
that I’m not enjoying the show?

Can I even ask questions –
are we really allowed?
There are so many absurd suggestions
nowadays, done by the crowd.

It’s been a long time that I can’t follow –
where is it going?
It’s one of the pills hard to swallow
I know, and the list’s ongoing.

I was born without my consent –
aren’t we all after all?
But it’s still me who’s out of my own content
like a soul stuck inside a doll.

I’d be happy if I had some cyanide –
would not be anyone if I hadn’t, tho?
The fuss of anger, “I hope you die”
hits me every time “Oh, me too, me too”.

Benyamin Bensalah



Where it will be gone
my pain
when it leaves Earth’s surface
leaves my body
leaves me?

Will it feel alone
without me
like I myself did
all the time

Will it miss me
like I did miss care
in my life?

Will it miss itself
without me
like I did miss myself
all alone
on my own?

Wherever it will be
I’d like it to know
that it’s alright
and we did have
quite a road.

Benyamin Bensalah


Weakling creeking

*the door creeks*

“Ah, I’ve been waiting it for weeks.”

“It’s surely the Reaper, my ordered undertaker.”

*waiting for nothing*

“Maybe, he has another job. The door creeked, but he sent one of his slow helldog to do the job.”

*the void avoids my thoughts*

“Hellhound or a fluffy bunny, stop me feeling so numbly dummy!”

“Somebody, take my thoughts and take my voice! Don’t let it to be my choice.”


*no creeking*

Benyamin Bensalah