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Mois Benarroch

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THE IMMIGRANT'S LAMENT (poetry/english)
by Mois Benarroch   

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Books by Mois Benarroch
· Gates to Tangier
· En Las Puertas De Tánger
· The Cathedral
· Cool and Collected Poems
                >> View all

Read Free Preview!



Publisher:  MOBEN ISBN-10:  1411636449


Copyright:  Jan 1 2002 ISBN-13:  9781411636446

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the immigrant's lament, new edition, now available from in printed and kindle edition.



In Morocco I was the center

of all the parties

a social phenomenon

always surrounded by friends

until I came to Israel

and ended up in a corner

the corner of all the parties

I stopped going

always on the outside

the outsiderwhen

I came

I became a poet.



I can see you


I can see you my friend Moshe

a twelve and a half year old boy

sensitive and lazy

I love you Moshe

I see you after the Bar Mitzvah

your mother announcing that

tonight we are leaving

I see you with the suitcases

always looking for something secure

suddenly nothing is secure

I see you in Ceuta

waiting for your father to sell the buildings

for peanuts

the Arab took out a knife

before he finally paid in Spain

I see you on the ship

on the way to Algeciras

I see you dreaming

dreaming of the land of Israel

dreaming a dream

a wonderful dream

with a temple

a dream full of light

I see you full of joy

traveling through Spain

in Valencia, in Barcelona

see you full of happiness and full of hope

that the land of Israel will heal

your brother Ari who is dying

see you in a hired taxi

you are wonderful Moshe

trying to be loved by everybody

tired and lazy

but always nice

I see you arriving at Marseille

entering the bus there

your father is angry

at the manager of the transit hotel

the sewer is plugged

shit is flowing everywhere

everything is wonderful

but there is shit everywhere

you cannot know what is awaiting you

I see you Moshe

landing in the land of Israel

half-drunk in the airport

you don't understand what is happening

but you don’t kiss the land

or more precisely the asphalt

I see you

a week in the boarding school

of Aliyat Hanoar

a week you cried without stopping

I see the nice tutor

coming from the boy scouts

saying you, you are too big to cry

and you cry even more

that it’s going to pass

and you cry even more

I see you Moshe

and my heart goes out to you

I love you Moshe

and suffer with you there

in Zichron-Yaacov

when will you forget Moshe

when will forgive

a week later your mother came to save you

took you to the secondary school

in Pardes-Hanna

they didn’t want you in 9th grade

in spite of skipping a class

because of your age

and your mother

“why should he lose a year?”

Insisting and insisting

till you finished the final exams

at sixteen and a half

and then waited a year

studying physics and mathematics

at the Hebrew University

she pushed you to this too

always pushing

you wanted to walk slowly

It took you so long to learn to go slow

my heart goes out to you Moshe

Moshe the immigrant

Moshe looking for redemption

Moshe disappointed

Moshe crying

Moshe becoming religious

Moshe a half-year atheist

Moshe who doesn’t get along with girls

Moshe believing in reincarnation

Moshe studying mathematics

Moshe studying literature

Moshe wanting to be a poet

Moshe running after literary editors

Moshe editing a literary review

Moshe writing a novel in 3 weeks

Moshe writing thousands of poems

Moshe writing ten novels

nobody publishes

Moshe always trying to be loved

by people

Moshe after people who don’t understand

his sensitivity

Moshe who wants to be loved for his poems

Moshe my heart goes out to you truly

Moshe I love you

in all your searching

in all your impossible searching

Moshe who knows everything will have

an explanation one day.

Two things always

writing and listening to music


especially after you visited your cousin

in Madrid

arrived religious and returned a heretic

there you bought

your first Van Morrison record

since then you bought them all

and thousands more

always music and writing

to save yourself

from going insane

in this crazy world

my heart goes out to you

Moshe the poet

Moshe the true poet

I love you at last

with all your travels

with all your suffering

I would caress you

in every step of your life

caress and kiss you

me who hated you so much

who suffered so much from you

now I love you

all the yous

you ever were.

Twenty years twenty

passed since those two weeks

that changed your life

the last week of August

and the first week of September

nineteen seventy two

everyday changed your life

making you a poet

writing in Hebrew

in your land

and not a writer

writing in a foreign language

in a foreign land

twenty years

in which you tried so hard to escape

not loving yourself

not wanting to be like the others

writing about suicide

angry at God


with asthma and without asthma

with allergies and skin sores

angina and digestive pain

crazy eating, women problems

trying to escape reality

trying to escape Israeli society

travelling abroad as much as possible

and coming back

to Paris, specially to Paris

dreaming about living there

marrying a French woman

emigrating to France, what else,

but she, what else,

just not to go back to France,

each one his own escape

always weak in front of women

and difficult to make changes

you are still here

with all the oxymoron and all the morons

possible inside your head

feeling the most here

and most there that is possible

so close to the land of Israel

and so far away from the State of Israel.


I love you Moshe

and I enjoy writing it

at last I love you

with all that you did

and all that you failed

and all that you fucked up

and all that you are ridiculous

and with all your running

away from here and escaping again

and again escaping

and still, staying here


I love you

Moroccan, Spanish, Sephardi,

European, looks Ashkenazi,

Western, Eastern, Mediterranean,

Middle-eastern, Palestinian,

African, French

with all the things you are and aren’t

I love you crazy and insane

and most logical

but then it is you

it is all the you that made me

and I love you.


I embrace you

go to the world

love it

give it all you have to give

even what it can’t accept

give the world all your love

all you have learned

and your experience

in all your previous lives

it won’t accept

but it needs you

the world needs you

it needs your love

give it

but don’t expect any reward

go to the world

go to God


don’t be afraid anymore

I caress you good-bye

go your way

I kiss you good-bye








"if there's one book you should buy from's Cool and Collected Poems by Moshe Benarroh 1990 - 2005... 540 pages and magnificent...if i had a nomination vote for the nobel prize he'd be in the running." Klaus Gerken

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