Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Sigal Ben Yair

AT THE MALL

At new central station mall, fourth row on the right
I conspire
to steal books,
the selected poems of Mayakovsky,
118 shekels, recommended retail price.
My wallet is empty and I pray
one hundred and eighteen times*
calculating the saleswoman’s angle of vision
and the bored security guard. I want it so bad   
the selected poems by Mayakovsky. Now
I am trying to shake off
awe of the dreadful commandments,
the grim sound of my mother’s slap
and my arm reaches out –
trembling passion, hollow wallet, repossession of
my weakened hand. I crawl out
on my belly.**

בקניון

בקניון

בַּקַּנְיוֹן בַּתַּחֲנָה הַמֶּרְכָּזִית הַחֲדָשָׁה שׁוּרָה רְבִיעִית מִיָּמִין
אֲנִי זוֹמֶמֶת בְּצֹמֶת
סְפָרִים לִגְנֹב
אֶת אֹסֶף שִׁירָיו הַמְּתֻרְגָּם שֶׁל מַאיָאקוֹבְסְקִי,
מֵאָה וּשְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר ש"ח מְחִיר מֻמְלָץ לַצַּרְכָן.
אַרְנָקִי רֵיק וַאֲנִי מִתְפַּלֶּלֶת מֵאָה
וּשְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר
וּמְחַשֶּׁבֶת אֶת זָוִית עֲמִידָתָהּ שֶׁל הַמּוֹכֶרֶת, וּשְׂדֵה רְאִיָּתָהּ,
וְאֶת כְּפִיפָתוֹ הַמְּשֻׁעֲמֶמֶת שֶׁל הַמְּאַבְטֵחַ. כָּל כָּךְ אֲנִי רוֹצָה
אֶת אֹסֶף שִׁירָיו הַמְּתֻרְגָּם שֶׁל מַאיָאקוֹבְסְקִי. עַכְשָׁו
אֲנִי מְנַסָּה לְנַעֵר מֵעָלַי
אֶת מוֹרָא הַדִּבְּרוֹת הַנּוֹרָא, וְאֶת צְלִיל חֲבָטַת יָדָהּ שֶׁל אִמִּי הָרָעָה
וּזְרוֹעִי נוֹטָה הָהּ -
תְּשׁוּקָה נִרְעֶדֶת, אַרְנָק חָלוּל, עִקּוּל
יָדִי הַנֶּחְלֶשֶׁת. עַל גְּחוֹנִי אֲנִי,
זוֹחֶלֶת לָצֵאת.
 
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AT THE MALL

At new central station mall, fourth row on the right
I conspire
to steal books,
the selected poems of Mayakovsky,
118 shekels, recommended retail price.
My wallet is empty and I pray
one hundred and eighteen times*
calculating the saleswoman’s angle of vision
and the bored security guard. I want it so bad   
the selected poems by Mayakovsky. Now
I am trying to shake off
awe of the dreadful commandments,
the grim sound of my mother’s slap
and my arm reaches out –
trembling passion, hollow wallet, repossession of
my weakened hand. I crawl out
on my belly.**

AT THE MALL

At new central station mall, fourth row on the right
I conspire
to steal books,
the selected poems of Mayakovsky,
118 shekels, recommended retail price.
My wallet is empty and I pray
one hundred and eighteen times*
calculating the saleswoman’s angle of vision
and the bored security guard. I want it so bad   
the selected poems by Mayakovsky. Now
I am trying to shake off
awe of the dreadful commandments,
the grim sound of my mother’s slap
and my arm reaches out –
trembling passion, hollow wallet, repossession of
my weakened hand. I crawl out
on my belly.**
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère