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).

Cherry

Once, I had a cherry tree-
It cherished with sour and sweet fruits to me.

Its taste, its odor are still with me –
Its red colour enlivens me.

You see, now, why I’m a lover –
Of the cherry soap, under the shower.

You see, now, why I’m a smoker –
Of cherry cigar while I was an anti-smoker.

I’d cherish a fresh cherry breath for my last words said,
I would cherish a cherry pillow and bed when I am dead.

Benyamin Bensalah

29.06.2018

A Strange generation

Camus died years ago.
I can’t be sure, even with Wikipedia.
The truth is so flexible;
every head has a couple of truths
about everything.

He died in a car accident
as it was written,
but we can’t know what’s behind –
surely, we want to hear A Story
about a strange death.

What was he thinking, planning
when he got into that car?
Would he be happy with that death?
Was he ever be happy in his life?
He was aware.

He was aware of the indifference,
insignificance of life.
This is a curse,
barely letting you fall asleep.
Awareness is awakenedness.

Having dreams is luxury
for one who’s awake of dreaming,
believing we exist
while someone who’s awake
sees we don’t.

We live and die;
laugh or cry, we die.
There’s no superior fact above
dying meaninglessly
in our own self-created scenes.

Had he ever been happy?
I ask again –
of course he had;
happiness comes up and leaves
in an absurdly meaningful moment.

That moment is absurd
because it ends.
Then, it leaves no meaning behind.
Love, wine, other hallucinogens
leave us empty as We Are.

If someone’s aware of such facts,
it doesn’t matter whether happy,
living or dead is the person
because we’ll be up to everything
and never belonging to a thing.

So, just get into that car,
send our grandson
To buy our last pack of cigarette
because what happens happens.
Then, it ends. Absurd.

Benyamin Bensalah

13.02.2020

A Sacred Century Story

Seven savage centurions,
Swearing in their saint union’s
Scoured, scouted for sacredness,
Spreading but mere senselessness.

Seven souls sorted by Ceasar
Soullessly scorched the soil spare,
Sending to scourge not just its cereal,
But with seven skint scullions seen there.

In the circling flame’s stake,
Seeing no but smoke and flame,
Seeing no scape to suddenly recoil,
Sadly screamed the servants of the soil.

So, been so scared, suffocating,
Scarcely sober and scarcely seeing,
Thinking their souls cease on that soil,
They started a pray as a last toil on that soil.

Saying sour words to their gods,
But none seemed to soothe the odds,
No Ceres, Venus and no sound from Zeus,
Scullions suffer godless, they had to deduce.

Six scullions snared by scare,
But a single turned scare to dare,
Sending his sidekicks into fire graves,
Instinctively building a bridge of slaves.

Then, the savage scullion
Before being seen by any centurion,
Stabbed their posteriors from one to six,
Til the seventh slaughtered him for his sins.

Benyamin Bensalah

22.11.2018

An Absurd’s Conversation

Do you drink your coffee without sugar?!”
-I was asked by shock in my interrogator;
Like eating your soup without salt…
Like wearing your shoes without socks!”

I do, well, I do them all above …
-I answered with the greatest indifference;
Why are you trying to find meaning,
And pleasure in something that ends cruel?”

(End of Random Conversation)

Benyamin Bensalah

31.01.2020

Grey Rays

Grey-blue pastel strokes brush the sun behind,
Leaving just enough light to the ground
To see the city, see the city with its toxicity;
Concrete jungle with vrooming sounds,
Soulless machines, and in them souls with wounds.

There’s no greenness behind greyness,
But meaningless parks as mere illusions
To keep our primal instincts alive –
Keeping them machine-fed, coma-like.
The art of nature’s hard to realise.

Parks are the new heart of the city,
Us – not even feeling pity,
Going there to fetch our nurture,
So-called being in the nature
As hypocrite machines.

Is there other machines lying
To themselves as we do –
By laying plants surrounding
While concretely it’s not
The green we went through?

How come then on the sky,
On that grayish sunbeam
Made of pastel and bluish dye;
We’re still a part of this sight,
Human machines as we are.

Benyamin Bensalah

12.11.2018

An Empty Class

In the morning, in that mass,
Messy transportation and the stress
Follow the students’ hurry steps,
Only to know how to write: Nevertheless.

Nevertheless, nevertheless,
The only same words here to suppress,
Repeated and reputeless
Create a chaos of boredomness.

I’m a student – nevertheless,
I am learning now less and less,
But still – oh still, nevertheless,
I miss the chance to scape, to regress.

My expresso that I really miss;
With its lack, my mind is just a deep abyss,
Missing parts of this least lesson:
What’s the point of nevertheless we’re stuck on.

Running in the morning mass,
Putting on this hurry-fashioned messy dress
Oh – oh no, these wasted losses address,
And only address NEVERTHELESS.

Benyamin Bensalah

02.12.2018