Galactic gallow

Like the bacteria living on volcanic sulphur,
I am doomed to live in my dark sepulchre –
no visitors, no wind-brought flowers;
I am mourning alone the longest last hours.

I am breathing agony like vaporized mercury,
hoping that some day will come to bury –
bury every feeling that cannot be beared alone;
finally getting along with myself, finding a home.

I’ve marched in the Pluto’s coldest valleys,
burnt my heart away on Venus’ alleys –
my galactical travel in the dark matter
made me a living black hole; nothing does matter.

I could be promised with another solar system,
another parallel dimension’s enthusiasm –
but the beauty of nature taught me already;
the paradise is falling, so be steady.

A dead organic organism, I am, travelling,
either escaping or sometimes just dwelling –
I will find no place on Earth, nor in the space;
Here I am locked down, and I will face what I am to face.

Benyamin Bensalah

16.06.2020

Time Murderer

My tears like rainforest would drop,
If I had pity on the talking beasts,
But my human memo has no more slot,
To endure the monsters of the East’s.

What a craddle! It’s itself kinda savage;
God condemned to desolate fever,
And its sons are themselves the ravage!
Eat! You beast till the word is over!

Nevertheless, I’d never lace up you,
Virus you are, but I let you be,
Only, take my words: fie upon you!
I write and my words let me be.

I have no holy mission to chase,
I am not Robinson! No-not even, Geez!
I’m not your Sherlock in this case!
I’m obsessed only by the time I seize.

I seize the time and it’s seizing you,
By fashion, fame, by food,
And by other worldly drugs to you.
Only you. I’m out of the mood.

Me and the time: Sparta and Athens;
We belong to each other,
In a lovely war that my mind imagines.
We need to kill each other.

Woe! There’s no benefits in my poems,
None gets salvation by my rhyme,
Nay they take me to the Seven Heavens,
But by seven verses- I killed the time.

Benyamin Bensalah

30.04.2017

Attila József: FROM FOG, SILENCE

I can’t wait for life anymore.
I’m being the way that’s possible.

And if it’s not possible, then no way,
If there are many days, it will be a long delay.

The sun disappears from my two eyes.
Only the lamp’s lights rise.

If there’s a fire, it will burn away.
If blood is shed, it will run away.

Whoever offends me, I don’t defend.
Whoever is sorry for me, I’m not even.

The military can be happy.
Since I can’t even be hungry.

Something happened to my sense,
But neither death nor patience.

I was kicked here, and kicked there
And not even once I swear.

I saw the fog once
Behind the great brilliance.

And I heard it once,
Getting over the noises of my disturbance,

Whether below or else above,
Only silence belongs to the poor.

The fog, the silence never shines.
I’m already out of fog, out of silence.

What maunders in my within,
Falls at the void of a pit in.

It’s an awful, big – big revenge,
Waiting, waiting until the end.

And to know, there are many more alike,
Until someone shakes one’s psych,

Until someone shouts by swoon,
From fog, from silence to the moon,

Up to the plague itself!
Who is cursing with curse itself,

Cursing the dog-keeper, the dog
And first of all, me in the fog.


Benyamin Bensalah

02.06.2020

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “KÖDBŐL, CSÖNDBŐL” (1925).

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

A poet’s block fallacy

As in villages as in big cities,
As in classrooms as in societies,
I’m alone with my strange personalities.

The eyes, the smiles, the frowns, the clowns,
The hardships and their ups and downs
Have no affect on my daily rounds.

Even the precious words are empty,
No mean defenses, no more acting gently;
No more need to fake my misery intelligently.

Benyamin Bensalah

28.08.2019

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”.

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

To sit, to stand, to hug, to die

To push this chair away,
to croach in front of a train,
to climb a mountain carefully,
to shake my bag out in the valley,
to give a bee to my old spider,
to caress an old mother,
to eat a tasty brown bean chowder,
to pace on tiptoes, it’s muddy,
to put my hat down to the rail,
to go around the lake only,
to sit in its bottom clothed in vain,
to blush amongst the tinkling bubbles,
to flourish amongst sunflowers –
to give a nice sigh instead,
to hush a fly away only,
to dust my books when they get dirty, –
to spit into my mirror’s middle,
to sign my enemies’ peace treaty,
to kill them all with a long knife’s shearing,
examining the blood how it’s running,
looking after a girl how she’s turning over –
sitting standly, so as, instead,
burning up the capital,
to wait for birds at my morsel,
to throw my bad bread to the ground,
to make cry my good lover,
to grab her younger sister onto the lap
and if this world is my account,
leaving it so as to be in no more recount – –

oh, you tying, you dissolving,
now, on this poem typing,
making laughter, making crying,
oh, my life, you choice for trying!

Benyamin Bensalah

10.10.2019

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Ülni, Állni, Ölni, Halni”(1926).

UN-De-presssure

O’ miserable me, being under pressure
Of life, lust and other human finance!
How long you desired that you’ll never belong,
How far you’ll strive being among them one?

So, silly you! Still enjoying your yeaning conscience –
The machine installed only with pain and pathos,
Tell me how do you feel now, O’ fan of fun,
Tell me if your game is steer’d or just chaos.

O’ me, poor poet, unknowing the words –
Words that may help you in your play,
But you use them on no wealth nor on the heart of a madam –
But you paint the already dark world into your painful plaint.

Oh! Those empty words addressing diaries and deities!
Just use them, damn use them in the sake of money!
Enjoy the life as others see it: hell funny,
Enjoy the joy of flesh, blood and honey!

Even the purest girl is a matter of ware –
In the purest whorehouse as on the Sphere!
No matter! Enjoy, you’ll die out like the ideas as laisse-faire –
No matter! Enjoy, you’re dying already as my dog died, Dexter.

So, miserable me, undress your pressure as well your obstacles,
Since you are just a poor condemned and damn poet-animal –
Spend, spend your life no more under pressure,
Spend, spend it as a vital – without depression.

Benyamin Bensalah

16.04.2018