When you are not needed

When you are not needed,
You just make up things,
When you are not needed,
Things fulfill your days,
When you are not needed,
Dreams are just some things,
When you are not needed,
Things are just distractions,
When you are not needed,
Goals are just made up things,
When you are not needed,
Things are just frustrations,
When you are not needed,
Nights reaveal there are no things,
When you are not needed,
Things just fall apart,
When you are not needed,
You just wait the end of made up things.

Benyamin Bensalah

17.09.2020

Coping with existence

What we are doing is no more than a sloppy copy;
We say hi, we should try,
You laugh I laugh, you smile I smile,
You shout I shout, you cry I cry,
We say bye, we should try…
I write, you might…

What we are doing is no more than a sloppy copy;
People smile, and we smile,
People cry and we cry,
People shout and we shout,
But we should…
I might, you…

What we are doing is no more than a sloppy copy;
People smile and we should,
People cry and we should,
People shout and we should,
But we might…
I… you…

What we are doing is no more than a sloppy copy;
Draw-draw, write-write,
Talk-talk, hi-hi,
Talk-talk, bye-bye,
Live-live, die-die,
Should… might…

What we are doing is no more than a sloppy copy;
No more feeling than their meaning,
No more meaning than they’re believing,
No more believing than their healing,
No more healing than their grieving,
You might be right – I should not have been existing.

Benyamin Bensalah

29.05.2020

István Kemény: UP AND DOWN AT THE ÉRDLIGET STATION

Romanian cigarette pack in the lawn
and sorrow in the heart,
head down, strong sunshine,
I still look young.

Such figures that I had such disdain on
such figures that I pitied,
because they were saying nothing remained here anymore,
there is surely none, ever.

It was a nice little station thirty years ago,
heated waiting room in winters, outdoors white
gravel and red-white benches,
many long trains, whole sentences.

Now a ruined building,
concrete platform with cigarettes in the lawn
packs and inaccurate
feeling in the heart.

I used to think I should let things go
get old, weary whatever you want
I let go, it was a mistake
now they come back ruined, in a row,
but well, I stayed the same.

Such figures that I disdain on,
such figures that I pitied,
because they were saying you will see, you will be like that too,
you will be like that, sure, because the character
doesn’t change in a stinky life.

In a lazy meantime,
as if they were coming here from a victorious battle,
eternally losing-looking people
fly along the platform,
little standing, walking up and down,
cigarettes, lots of little time.

Such figures that I had disdain on,
such figures that I pitied,
I said they were ugly and ploretarian
I said, they were waiting.

Now a self-destructive feeling,
trampled shoes, mustache, grief,
an almost random gold watch,
head down and an abandoned past.

The past, if it wasn’t cared of from the past,
it knows only revenge since adolescence because
it says every day – on a fine day:
“Look at me: I was at the station in Érdliget
once. And even now I am just that.
Tell me what I care about.
The buggy man died.
Out of his palm
the stag beetle flew away.
The future is a tougher nut to crack. ”
And with that, the past shrugs its shoulders.

The loudspeaker, on the other hand, starts talking,
like the younger brother when he gets a speech,
and promises a future: a train.

Such figures that I had disdain on,
such figures that I pitied,
because they were saying that they were just little
points, but it’s better than nothing,
and that times change.

There will be a sad silence because it is the same
shame to ask the lawn as
the heart as the Romanian cigarette pack.
changing for what?

And a train is coming as scheduled,
once it’s standing here, but it will take you from here,
short trains, incomplete sentences,
I sit down, I look out like a window.
for what.

I don’t pity and I don’t have disdain,
I want a goal and an easy soul
if they don’t go together, it’s good the way it is:
over resounding ore in a passenger car.
But I don’t know.

Translated from the Hungarian poem of István Kemény, “Fel és alá az Érdligeti állomáson” (2004).

Benyamin Bensalah

22.05.2020

Vacuum


Many questions have been raised on my nature
The most of them by myself, but also by people;
The funny thing in the huge number the questions assume:
They can be answered by one word: Vacuum.

From those questions, some may please me
Like “What art are those that may lead thee?”
Or “What limit has been reached by your knowledge?”;
They are rare but I like when I’m asked on my storage.

While there are questions I barely like
Like “Why are you a person whom we barely like?”
Or “Why are you so different and not alike?”;
Let’s answer them by a single strike:

My nature is like the nature’s nature:
There’s no place where’s no creature;
So, what I’m fighting is what the nature’s fighting,
Where is darkness there must be lighting:

Vacuum, I’m all fulfilled with emptiness,
If there’s ten planets I need a twentieth,
I wish to fulfill my eager to be fulfilled
Even if by the pressure of that knowledge I’ll be killed.

Benyamin Bensalah

29.04.2019

Péter Závada: Cat Circle

What you got is only my character.
I’m nothing else than mere formality.
You expected there were,
behind the being, an identity.

You didn’t take account of the others,
tho there’s no lack of substance.
The fact that I am, won’t be fillers
of my empty existence.


To love is common courtesies.
Who is empty cannot belong to you.
I have nothing, but the injuries
that I let you go.

Benyamin Bensalah

09.04.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Péter Závada, “Macskakör”.

Lovely hatred

What could cause more hate
Than its old opposite, love;
No parents, no friends, none but the only one –
But what if one had only that one?
What if he had no world, but one that’s gone?

Time can cure a wound,
But not a complete world missing –
Days in silent relief without any belief,
Weeks in horrible macabre, keen and grief
Then, hatred – even eternity would seem brief.

Benyamin Bensalah

06.09.2018