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Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

Yeshua / Jesus speaks / La parole ressucitée

Poem / essay by Albert Russo from his novel Eur-African Exiles

I, Yeshua ben Yosef, son of our beloved Myriam,

turn to you who have forsaken and betrayed me,

you who claim to be such good Christians,

all the while you have tried to erase the Jew in me,

either out of habit or out of sheer ignorance,

for let it be known, now and forever:

the enemy of my People is my enemy.

2000 years have passed before a pope 

has asked for forgiveness.

It is never too late, you will say

it may not be too late for your children

or for the generations to come,

but it is far too late for the countless brothers and sisters

who were chased, tortured and murdered

by the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitors.

It is far too late for the tens of thousands of brothers and sisters

who were persecuted and killed

during the Russian and the Polish pogroms.

It is far too late for all those millions of brothers and sisters

who were treated like animals, tormented and then gassed

by the Nazis, who thus perpetrated history’s most diabolic crime; 

as it is much too late for the numerous refugees whom the Allies

turned away during WWII, as they desperately 

sought a haven on their shores.

Was then Jewish life, as a French neo-fascist still insists today,

just a mere detail, too negligible to consider? 

It appeared so.

I have always maintained that I was the son of man,

as is every Jew who is made in the image of his Creator.

Yet, you have declared that I was the Son of God.

In reality, I was a simple man who loved his neighbor

as much as he despised the profiteers and the hypocrites,

and like any rabbi, I would praise the Lord every Shabbat, 

at the synagogue which you converted into a church, 

though it had never been my intention to transform the House of God.

I was a man who celebrated the holy days 

of Pessah, of Rosh Ashana and of Kippur,

the definitions of which you should go and relearn.

So few of you still remember why we celebrate 

the Christian New Year’s Day: ’tis my circumcision, 

Because, as with all little Jewish boys, 

It is performed eight days after birth, 

in my case, the very day of Christmas.

Had I happened to come back to earth between 1940 and 1945, 

I would undoubtedly have ended up in a gas chamber, 

For, after having stripped me of my clothes, 

and checked my private parts, 

my future Executioners would have seen that I had no foreskin.

It was the Romans who crucified me,

but you persisted in accusing my people, 

as if any one could kill God.

Call me therefore by my true name, Yeshua, 

which you have translated to Jesus. 

The Torah is the foundation of Christian Civilization, 

but you keep calling it the old testament, 

What then are the Gospels, a fabrication, plagiarism? 

Traduttore, traditore, say our Italian friends,

Like all the words you have put in my mouth, 

diverting them from their original meaning.

I will forgive you, poor sinners, yes, I will forgive you, 

The day you will love me in all sincerity,

The day you will love my People as yourselves. 

Remember the Righteous men and women, throughout the centuries,

they were the best of Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, 

the best of animists, agnostics and atheists, 

In fact they were all my sisters and my blood brothers.

They have risked their lives in order to snatch my co-religionists 

from the claws of their executioners, 

they, who often wore around their necks a small cross with my effigy, 

Did they know, the wretched, that it was me

They were crucifying again each time?

The Righteous acted out of compassion

And since every human being is made in the image of his Creator 

he or she has the free will 

To transform himself into a murderous Cain 

Or a good and virtuous Abel

 

La parole ressuscitée

poème / essai d’Albert Russo tiré de son roman Exils Africains  

Moi, Yeshua ben Yosef, fils de Myriam la bien-aimée,
Je me tourne vers vous tous qui m’avez si longtemps trahi, Vous qui,                              
Tout en prétendant être de bons chrétiens,
Avez voulu éradiquer le juif en moi,
Car, sachez-le, tout ennemi de mon Peuple est mon ennemi Il a fallu 2 000 ans pour Qu’un pape lui demande pardon, Et tant mieux, il n’est jamais trop tard, me direz-vous,
Il n’est peut-être pas trop tard pour vos enfants
Ou pour les générations qui suivront,

Mais il est beaucoup trop tard pour tous ceux que L’Inquisition espagnole a chassés,
Torturés, convertis ou massacrés, Il est beaucoup trop tard pour tous ceux qui,
Par dizaines de milliers, ont été persécutés et ont péri Durant les pogroms de la ‘Sainte’
Russie, de la Pologne et d’ailleurs, Il est beaucoup trop tard pour ces millions de frères et
De sœurs Qui ont été embarqués vers les camps d’extermination par les nazis, Lesquels
Ont perpétré le crime le plus abominable De l’histoire de l’humanité, Enfin, il est
Beaucoup trop tard pour tous ceux que les Alliés De la Seconde Guerre mondiale ont
Rejetés de leurs côtes, Alors qu’ils les savaient en danger de mort…
Si la Shoah, comme ce politicien néo-fasciste continue de le clamer Sans vergogne, reste
Un détail de l’Histoire, ne répète-t-il pas Ce que les généraux des armées victorieuses Pensaient tout bas Je le crois, sinon mon Peuple n’aurait-il pas été épargné ? 

J’ai toujours affirmé que j’étais le Fils de l’Homme, Comme tout juif qui a été façonné à
L’image de son Créateur, Tandis que vous m’avez consacré Fils de Dieu, J’étais en réalité
Un être simple qui aimait son prochain, Autant que je méprisais les profiteurs et les
Hypocrites, Et, comme tout rabbi, j’allais prier à la synagogue le Shabbat, Afin de
Chanter les louanges d’Elohim,
Cette synagogue que vous avez convertie en église,
Alors que ça n’a jamais été mon intention de transformer la Maison de Dieu,                   
Je m’y rendais durant les fêtes de Pessah, De Rosh ha-Shana et de Kippour, nos jours    
Les plus saints, Il serait bon que vous vous les réappropriiez,
Ou du moins que vous en connaissiez le sens 

Si peu d’entre vous se souviennent encore de la raison Pour laquelle on fête                     
Le jour de l’an chrétien : ma circoncision, Car, comme pour tous les petits garçons juifs,
Elle s’accomplit Huit jours après la naissance – dans mon cas, le jour de Noël. 

Et s’il m’était arrivé de redescendre sur terre entre 1940 et 1945, J’aurais sans         
Aucun doute échoué dans une chambre à gaz, Après avoir été dépouillé                          
De mes vêtements, afin que mes futurs Bourreaux pussent vérifier mes parties intimes  
Et confirmer l’absence du prépuce
Ce sont les Romains qui m’ont crucifié,
Mais vous persistiez à accuser mon Peuple, Comme si l’on pouvait tuer Dieu 

Appelez-moi donc par mon vrai nom, Qui est, je vous le répète, Yeshua,                        

Nom que vous avez traduit par Jésus, Comme la Torah, qui est le fondement de la
Civilisation chrétienne, Et s’il s’agit, comme vous le maintenez, d’un ancien testament,
Que sont alors les Évangiles, une affabulation, un plagiat ?                                
Traduttore, traditore, disent nos amis italiens,
Comme chacune des paroles que vous avez mises dans ma bouche,                                 
Les détournant si souvent de leur sens originel 

Je vous pardonnerai, pauvres pécheurs,oui, je vous pardonnerai,                                        
Le jour où vous m’aimerez en toute sincérité,
Le jour où vous aimerez mon Peuple comme vous-mêmes,                                         Souvenez-vous de ces Justes qui, tout au long des siècles,
– ils étaient les meilleurs des Chrétiens, des Musulmans, Des Hindous et                        
Des Bouddhistes, les meilleurs des animistes, Des agnostiques et des athées,                   
En fait ils étaient tous mes sœurs et mes frères de sang –
Ont tant de fois risqué leur vie afin d’arracher mes coreligionnaires                                
Des griffes de leurs bourreaux, lesquels portaient souvent                                           
Autour de leur cou une petite croix avec mon effigie,                                                
Savaient-ils, les misérables, que c’était moi
Qu’ils crucifiaient à nouveau à chaque fois?
Les Justes, eux, ont agi par compassion et par amour,
Car chaque être humain a été façonné à l’image de son Créateur                                   
Mais tout homme possède le libre arbitre                                                                               
De se transformer en un Caïn meurtrier                                                                                
Ou en un Abel bon et vertueux

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: www.albertrusso.com - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo
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