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


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


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


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