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).

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).

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

A Promenade in Strange City

The taps are just steps on this land,
No old friend calls me from the childhood,
No near familiarity where I stand,
Nor from the far place where I stood.

My mind, eye and heart are all out,
Only my ears are listening to my strange steps,
Where’s all the peace I heard about,
Wandering on the new, strange lands.

Then, a tap is sounded; a tap and another,
My childhood is echoing back from a dimension,
I can’t drop a tear, so I walk rather,
Walk, walk, walk… Maybe out of sensation.

Benyamin Bensalah

20.11.2017

The boy who’s almost alive

Sixty years barely would be enough
To call him on a laugh.
Sixty years may sound like a long bark,
Trying to make him talk.

Though, we remember the smile of him:
Vicious and genius, but thin.
Though, we miss his silent presence;
He’s somewhere behind a fence.

Under his hands, hundreds of scenes run
Without a frame of him having fun.
He’s a wizard – a video cutter little elf,
But the best he cuts himself.

He plays with layers like “my friends”,
Then, he hides it till it ends.
He himself is born as a layer by his parent,
Named himself as transparent.

We remember a broken-blond hair,
Being among us in pair,
But who could wait till he would arrive:
Chris, the boy who’s almost alive.

Benyamin Bensalah

20.07.2018