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).

A Sacred Century Story

Seven savage centurions,
Swearing in their saint union’s
Scoured, scouted for sacredness,
Spreading but mere senselessness.

Seven souls sorted by Ceasar
Soullessly scorched the soil spare,
Sending to scourge not just its cereal,
But with seven skint scullions seen there.

In the circling flame’s stake,
Seeing no but smoke and flame,
Seeing no scape to suddenly recoil,
Sadly screamed the servants of the soil.

So, been so scared, suffocating,
Scarcely sober and scarcely seeing,
Thinking their souls cease on that soil,
They started a pray as a last toil on that soil.

Saying sour words to their gods,
But none seemed to soothe the odds,
No Ceres, Venus and no sound from Zeus,
Scullions suffer godless, they had to deduce.

Six scullions snared by scare,
But a single turned scare to dare,
Sending his sidekicks into fire graves,
Instinctively building a bridge of slaves.

Then, the savage scullion
Before being seen by any centurion,
Stabbed their posteriors from one to six,
Til the seventh slaughtered him for his sins.

Benyamin Bensalah

22.11.2018

Heartlock

Birth
Is a curse –
The course of pathos –
To unsense the nonsense,
At first, your heart must be locked.

Call a locksmith, or become yourself,
Tho’ one lock won’t fix the life –
The ever strife of study –
To escape the legging,
Another locking.

You can never hide,
Your pocket cries out –
Not the tailor is the traitor –
To silence your empty stomach,
Again, your heart ought to lock up.

The ever hardship being a human,
Defenselessly desires the love –
The ever blazing consuming –
To unblind the avid eyes,
The fourth lock hies.

The locks sacrifice,
For the sacred conscience –
The ironed et rusting heart –
To fend the sober brain’s cogs,
Lock the heart and even the locks.

Benyamin Bensalah

20.03.2018

Almost dead poets

If there’s a poet you know, and still alive;
Please, tell him your appreciation,
Tell her how she does matter,
Tell him he means a lot
Because
We, poets, don’t see behind the dot;
We feel a lot, write some out,
Then, we think, sometimes,
That we’ve done nothing.
That’s why,
Please, if there’s a poet… you know…
Tell him, tell her your appreciation
Because… it does matter,
You know…

Benyamin Bensalah

07.01.2020

Accidental me

Once upon a morning dreary,
On a wibbly-wobbly urban prairie,
I hit the road barely fearing –
As the fool who has no fearing –
And there came a car.

In a sudden, asking is it the end,
I wasn’t surprised, but how to pretend,
While I am always steering –
Just as badly as the driver’s steering –
My emotions behind a striped bar.

Since the moment was so sneaky,
And the car’s break creaked up creepy,
I had no time for fleeing –
At least for the people seeing –
If it was not just imaginaire.

In that second’s timeless land,
I had no social expression to send,
Signing I’d like to remain living –
Lying that I’m a just human being –
So, I just stood bare there.

And behind that timeless scene,
Angry drivers and people were seen,
Aiming at me standing there –
A guilty criminal sharing his despair –
A social monster without cover.

Benyamin Bensalah

18.11.2018

Mourn on the Heart of Roux Meow

Now, I came back to the old grave of my heart-
Oh, how long it has been buried away!
Now, I just risked to revive again that heart:
That cost my senses astray.

What could hold the burden of all my years,
Even the hope of death is dim-
No mate listens, no mat has ears:
This is the world versus him.

It died of burying his living mother-father,
His first loves as a hope for happiness-
Then, it calls his conscience to sit together:
Ever remember the hurt of loneliness.

Visiting the dead calls to become one of them,
My deathwishing head follows the heart-
Why didn’t they listen: Don’t go back to Bethlehem:
The end is siamese with the start.

Now, a senseless person’s sitting at the tomb,
His madness wishes to be together-
Heartless, bloomless; only the gloom:
I wish to kill all worldy pleasure.

Whether his mouth is moving or not,
His heart and mind are dead, tho-
Both get goosebumps by an echoing thought:
“I was never meant to hurt you.”

Benyamin Bensalah

22.07.2018

Caven

The absence of flames rips my chest off
Like a dark cave craving for a torch,
In it, a heart-formed obsidian,
Clinging to the cold
In timelessness,
While lacks and wants
Battle to grant drum and rum,
The flames of haram, burning in emptiness.

Benyamin Bensalah

12.01.2019