Attila József: It doesn’t matter to me …

It doesn’t matter to me: is there a god or not
And certainly I would believe in him,
But I don’t even have that much free time.

If He helps me, it’s better for Him,
If He doesn’t help, it won’t get any worse.
If there is, then He couldn’t be worse
Than the one we used to have,
If there is: I don’t worth even a dog,
If there’s not: I don’t worth even a dog,
Neither better nor worse.

Sooner or later the poor
Has to go crazy,
Or hang on to a branch,
Except if he starts to realize,
That the poor here is God,
World-creator God,

The rich are just angels;
Our sigh gives them wings
And in the crawling creation
Why would we need angels?

Benyamin Bensalah

29.08.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Nekem mindegy”(1924).

Life and Death

Firstly, I experienced the death of my great-grandmother as a child;
it wasn’t sad, but rather shocking to see an inanimate body
and the mourning people around burdened with silence.
I couldn’t understand much of that picture that time,
but my mother was in grief and crying for a long;
she must have a lot of memories with her,
all reaching a dead-end road.

Then, my kind friend – our dog was beaten to death by my old neighbor;
she was my father instead of father and friend instead of friends,
a true mate that was hard to imagine to get so brutalized.
The shock seeing her missing dried up even my cry;
that time, I imagined how my mother might feel
when someone close disappears
and leaves a terrible hole.

Still a child, after the dog I loved, I saw the corpse of the dog I hated;
that huge dog been let out to the side when I walked daily
scared me and made the streets ominous, evil-holding.
I wanted to think of it as a big relief from my fear
that the big, evil dog won’t be around after me,
but I felt grief seeing its bloodshed death;
will it leave a same hole in someone?

Then, news of deaths came and went around with daily regularity;
in the broadcast Queens died, presidents, victims and criminals
as well as at school, acknowledging dead kings and poets.
I thought that great deeds leave a thing to remember,
not to let people die as a fly or a cornered spider,
but I quickly changed my mind at the museum
where generations lay without any memory.

Starting to grow, I realized many terrible things while just living;
terrible things like whole families, weekend parties
and such things I never could have in my life.
These left a hole greater than death itself;
leaving an unknown, missing hole in me,
a hole of me whom I could be,
saying: I never was alive.

Somewhat later, having assured that the holes of non-living remain;
they mark the person and it marked even my personality,
I tried to meet Death by my own, to rejoin the holes.
I failed and left but awkwardness of craze,
my close ones saw me abnormal
and saw no danger seeing me
as a hole, simply disappear.

With knowledge, I understood it later and it made more sense than any;
a person who didn’t live and left no experience
won’t leave holes or griefs in nobody.
All the synopsis-held memories,
all the heartbeat on the globe
like life and death in books
have no meaning at all.

Benyamin Bensalah

12.07.2020

Waiting for Godot

What else reason brought us upon Earth than facts that
are so trivial, they are even barely believable;
we are none more than the result of animals’ breeding,
doing the same life-essential routines of eating-excreting – and
here, some of our smart arse would say
that we are SENT down to this place by reason that
is we are JUST better than all other livings even if
the facts don’t support this answer; firstly because there was no
question to be answered so arrogantly.
And the above fact that we, humans, defend so desperately our supremacy proves that
we are in deed just a scavenged mixture of nature that
are here just as any other being; temporarily
blessed by the moment and cursed by the next
in what we fall from the circling giant wheel of life; and
this is what we can call a fact
that is standing above beliefs and can start a discussion on what
we are doing here now in these moments that
happen, now, but in the next round they cease as we cease
to know the false facts that kept us believing in
the answer without question why we are here now.
Yes, this isn’t easy to face that there’s no meaning
in the job we take, our education or
the family we were living for;
immense reasons “keeping us alive” are just parts of this
confusion that hides the fact that we are here for
one reason that is to live and die; one
thing is sure above all the false-certitude that Death
alone is the only common variable between us that
is unavoidable, doubtless, assured and
clear as it is.
We are dying together from the first moment we
are to face this glance of time of living, or rather
waiting for reasons to be here;
for we never can know why we are here, but
Godot is coming, and we are either willing or not, but we are waiting it
to come

(“What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come –” Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot)

Benyamin Bensalah

30.06.2020

At sunset

The sun has been fallen;
The light was irregardless,
The park has been sullen;
I sat on a bench regardless.

If I had faced a human being,
I’d be able to tell the truth;
Whether I’d been seen or seeing,
W’ther I own or pwn the ruth.

Maybe, if I had chosen a buddy;
Sharing the self-created pain,
I would see that unlucky body
As an anchor to all my pain.

The park was empty as my soul,
As the store of my social acts;
It’s been a decade that I’m sole;
I surrounded myself with facts.

Knowledge’s become my only goal,
Brought by all the human science;
By the way, this is the only how
I could escape my own conscience.

Ed says bad, then Ed says do,
I am a slave of my own vapours;
I did bad and I did good,
Playing with time as vipers do.

Human animal am I,
For whom the sun is sullen?
Nay, I shouldn’t hide;
By time, the sun will be fallen.

Benyamin Bensalah

28.06.2017

Kill myself or have a coffee?

Should I look for meaning in life if I know
I am following my own product?
Kill or beget; we are all following a flow –
Myself, I am barely able to deduct
Or anticipate the so-called reality I undergo.
Have I missed an important act?
A purpose I should have known a long ago?
Cup all of my years in your hands as a fact
Of that I was living, and throw ’em with a blow;
Coffee and cigarettes will distract me while you’re doing so.

(Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? – Albert Camus)

Benyamin Bensalah

03.05.2020

A Meaningless End

This is the end.

But the end started at the creation
of the first deoxyribonucleic acid,
of the first cellular life,
of the first material’s
formation.

This is the end.

The end was here from the beginning
at the enactment of beginning,
at the start of all existence,
at the emptiness
in the void.

This is the end.

The end of my deoxyribonucleic acids
of formed cellular creation,
of temporary learning,
of existence
begins.

Benyamin Bensalah

30.03.2020

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).

Freest state

Stack my years behind me and those in front,
Rush then with them to a battlefront
That ends in a mass grave.

Stack my years and throw them into fire,
Burning a forest if there’s no hellfire
Just to make a mess.

Stack my years I lived and set them
Like dominos, then let them
To fall apart.

Stack my years in a messy writing
Needing a thousand rewriting,
Then, just delete.

Do whatever you want, please,
Just make it end, please,
Please.

Benyamin Bensalah

12.02.2020

Godly days

It’s said: there’s a God
Who created
Everything in six days and rested…
I don’t want this theory to be tested,
But the copyright on his days is quite divested:
(Two more Babylonian lines
For a Moon-phase advertise’ …)


Sunday – Norse goddess,
Chased by Hate, son of the grotesque
Wolf.

Moonday – Sun’s brother,
Also dog-chased, but not bothered until
Ragnarok.

Tiw’s day – the dueling Mars,
But not making too many wars with hands
Wolf-eaten.

Odin’s day – deathly Mercury,
Nothing makes him more hurry than
Wisdom.

Thor’s Day – thundering Jupiter,
Famously he’s a soul-janitor just as his dad,
Odin.

Freya’s day – our sweet Venus,
Every man is dying just to reach her..
Beauty.

Saturn’s day – the god of time,
Known as Cronos with a scythe, eating
Children.

The more I’m looking for meaning in this life,
The more I end up saying: where’s your God now?

FYI

Benyamin Bensalah

10.02.2020