I was born circumsized
                                           With adhan as first words in my ears
My name was Jewish
                                        I attended masses for years
I asked for salvation
                                      Or just some mercy from Geez
I denied religions
                               Seeing the mass as moving cemeteries
I seeked hope in Allah
                                         And his prophet’s companies
Denying no knowledge
                                          From fengshui, karma, to Greek philosophies
Trying to reason
                               Why this pain never leaves,
But the only religion
                                      In what no one believes
I’m my own temple
                                    And my demons pray in it with griefs.

Benyamin Bensalah


How would I know

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has shown me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has taught me?

I’ve seen movies, I’ve seen couples
Doing things that I thought as love,
Pushing me to pursue love
With mere follies and troubles.

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has shown me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has taught me?

My own mother has loved in silent,
As young, I couldn’t even see;
How should I not be violent,
If I thought nobody has loved me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has shown me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has taught me?

Nobody showed me whom to love,
But I was told: not her;
Nobody taught me how to act in love,
Then, I was told: don’t hurt her.

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has shown me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has taught me?

With time, scars are healing,
Caused on and by me,
And with time, the truth’s revealing:
Love wasn’t meant for me.

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has shown me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has taught me?

I’ve been loveless all the time;
It pursued me to search it,
But all stories end in painful rhyme;
I hope, finally, I learnt it.

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has shown me?

How would I know how to love,
If nobody has taught me?

Benyamin Bensalah


Péter Závada: SYNOPSIS

Just let only this May to burn out in serve!
It was so easy with you, and with me hard.
Our past lives today in every substantive verb.
It’s okay if you don’t believe.  Mainly, you hope.

Branch of sycamore tree to the hanging eaves:
So as I am spastically clinging to you.
I’m not an adult yet, but I’m neither more like kiddies.
I had neither a cradle, nor hobbledehoyhood.

Though every melt is followed by frost:
On the shelf, Rilke leans to a volume of Proust
– how much dreaming in the lost time of ours!
And how much beautiful hope music in yours!

Tell me then: if this is not going, like this, with you today,
how could anything go, without you?

Benyamin Bensalah

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Peter Závada, “Szinopszis” (2010).


In Memory of a Flower

I’ve been living on a little planet,
Just as the most poet;

I had nobody to talk, to chat,
The people whom I met
Are gone.

My planet is bare and grey,
By the way;
As usual.

But, it happened that
I wonder’d at
A flower.

What she’s doing on such a land,
Where living can’t pretend
To live?

In my surprise, in my hurry-
I shelter’d her in worry;
To protect.

What a beauty, what a pureness,
My planet was in happiness;
A flower!

I had a flower to talk, to chat,
Laughing with and at –
That was magic.

My planet was no more solitary,
She named it as the galaxy
Of Flower.

Flower, flower. I thanked God,
For the surprise I have got;
A living planet.

Not just divine, but enchanting
Was this happening,

Once upon a time, I woke up:
My planet just broke up –
Where’s Flower?

Where’s Flower? She was mine.
Alone, how could I be fine
On such a planet?

Dead, coarse, dry and dreary,
Without my dearie,
But mine.

Live the life of the dead,
Forget what you had;
You are alone.

Keep teaching as you taught
Her by your thought;
As a poet.

Then, write a poem “in memory”
On the land of a solitary
Pocket poet.

Write “in memory” to believe,
Even if it’s hard to believe;
She’s gone.

A flower that coloured the bare,
That could give life if dare;
But no.

Since the planet on which I’m living,
Are for poets, not for living;
I’m dying with memories.

Benyamin Bensalah


Sceptic steps

Like wearing iron boots are the legs
While they are walking in sceptic steps;
They trail anchors of questions,
And push the route in doubtfulness.

To do, not to do – like an effortless fort
With open portcullis for the horde;
Like sceptic centurions wearing the mort
As armor, and despair as sword.

Heavy marching thunders the roads,
And trembles the heavens;
While simple facts are the calling roars,
They sound like mere hallucinations.

No flower remains unsquelched,
No road leads to an end;
The past, present and future merged
In a wasted, wasted land.

The ground wasn’t touched by my legs
When I left my fairy castle;
No dreams, hopes on the steppes
I am, with myself in a big hustle.

Like wearing iron shackles on my feet,
And a sack on my head;
It seems obscure to run or defeat
The fairy roads ahead.

Benyamin Bensalah


Cyanide dreams

Perished is the land that steps rarely devour,
Yet, my legs find sweet grass and pleasure;
What a man ever sees desperate and bizarre,
The soul of mine dies for getting thither.

Acid is the daylight for the one in Desolace,
Sith only the moonlight bears for it solace;
Death’s servants are in every corner to face,
But does a blind face the lights as menace?

Your right hand is the darkness in darkness,
Every single sound, whisper is a menace;
While pleasure is lying in the deepest oblivion,
The one who dreams is the self-perished.

Benyamin Bensalah


To the poet, Attila

We could have been children,
Rich and irresponsible –
Men having not a problem
That wouldn’t be disputable.

The life could be a play, for us;
Instead, the life was playing with us –
We were told whom to be, by others,
Without friends, sisters, brothers.

We could see the world happy,
But we had been inheridely saddy –
Even though, our heart was welcoming,
One after another badly wrecking.

It could be all different for us,
But there came only burden on us –
We, whom the light kept escaping,
Have seen the world as cheating.

We could be a member of this madness,
When I remember the disinheritance –
We both are particularly alone,
Homelessly, silently dying alone.

Benyamin Bensalah

Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Attilànak”(2008)


My Lore

How come she left me?
No money?
No soul?
I believed we build our…
Worlds and beliefs,
Swords and reliefs,
I believed we were together…

Didn’t she wish for my kiss,
Like I wished for hers?
Didn’t she worship my breast,
Like I did with hers?
Didn’t she believe in the world
That I thought was ours?
How many times I must die inside,
Till I finally can die finally?
How many times I must lose my trust
In people and in Gods?
How long I am in this absurd game?

I am crying…
Not cause of sadness – I’ve no such thing,
But I’m crying since I’m a fool.
Why I let people close to me always,
Then, they use me as a tool.
I’m their extemporal key for something,
Something social,
Something financial,
Something humanly wicked.
All these I don’t understand…

I’ve never seen the importance of things:
Dates. Birthdays. Events.
Relation. Correlation. Interference.
Why people program all these into themselves?

I hasn’t understood.
And now, I understand it even less.
How come I wished sex.
How come I wished for happiness,
Beliefs, and other fuzzy things, while…
While… She was just playing
With a humanlike doll,
With a cute monster,
With me.

Back to my nature.
The nature is easy.
Those who follow instincts
Find their necessities pick-puck.
But, madmen have problems.
Like she and I were…
I’ve seen it for the first time,
Whether she just realized it, that we mad?
Then, she left?
Who wants to be mad?
Believing in the given,
Liven on given,

Grotesque Death of a Good Man?
I’m loving it.
I will find things that makes me enjoy Death.
My new lover.
A sweet joint or a thick cigar.
Coffein, cocaine if I would be lucky…

It smells like hope again
That makes me afraid.
Like it’s just another chance again for…
For… for…
Dunno… Actually, life gives no chances.
If it would have,
I was already dead.
After her leaving, or even before.

That was my Lore.

Benyamin Bensalah