My Selena

Here is my tribute to Selena.  Like many others, I barely knew who she was before her terrible death.  Indeed, I knew only the one song, "Amor Prohibido," which I'd heard on the radio before that day her life was cut short.  Since then, again like many others, I've grown to love her and her music.

My Selena

She surfaced in a drag show,
a song on Radio Amor about Love Forbidden,
two words in English.

Her fate fractured the front page:
"Latin Music star Selena
Shot, Killed in Texas Hotel."

On April First a goddess was born,
perfect, complete, her work just begun:
to cleave barriers like a butcher,
to mix peoples like Tita:
Quail in Rose Petal Sauce,
Como Agua Para Chocolate.

Selena, with your eyes blazing,
your black hair swinging,
your lips full, your bosom fresh
like Botticelli's Venus, a flower indeed
riddled with too many prickles.

Mi amor latino,
como me duele, ay,
como me duele.
                                How it hurts
with sticky, sweet pain, my favorite song,
"Como La Flor" --your rock-hard gift
to us still alive with hope:
la vida, calor y amor.

This poem is in my book, The Alchemy of Opposites (Chiron Review Press, 2000) and in my new collection, Moonman: New and Selected Poems (World Parade Books, 2012).  It was first published in Genre, 1996.  To learn more about my poetry, see Clifton Snider, Poet and The Age of the Mother.

--Copyright © Clifton Snider, 2012

I am pleased to post a new translation of my poem into Spanish by Joan Sanrey.

 Para mi Selena

Ella apareció en un espectáculo de arrastre
en una radio, su canción titulada "Amor Prohibido".  

Su destino opacó varias portadas:  
"La estrella de la música latina tejana Selena
ha muerto de un disparo de bala en el hotel Days Inn de Corpus Christi".

El primero de abril nació una diosa,
perfecta, completa, su trabajo recién había comenzado:
para romper las barreras como una guerrera,
para mezclar pueblos como Tita:
codornices en salsa de pétalos de rosa,
como agua para chocolate.

Selena, con tus ojos ardientes,
tu pelo negro balanceándose
tus labios llenos, tu pecho fresco
como la Venus de Botticelli... Como una flor.
Acosada con demasiadas espinas.

Mi amor latino
como me duele
como me duele
Como duele...

Con dolor dulce y pegajoso, mi canción favorita.

"Como La Flor" tu regalo tan hermoso... Como una flor.
Nosotros todavía vivimos con una esperanza:
La vida, el calor y el amor.

--Copyright © Clifton Snider and Joan Sanrey, 2019

And here is the translation by Melvin Rosales from 1999.

Mi Selena

Ella apareció en un show de drag,
una canción en la Radio Amor se llama, "Amor Prohibido,"
dos palabras en Inglés.
Su destino se fracturó la primera página:
"Latin Music star Selena
Shot, Killed in Texas Hotel."
El primero de abril una diosa nació,
perfecto, completo, su trabajo acaba de comenzar:
rompen con las barreras como un carnicero,
para mezclar pueblos como Tita:
Codornices en salsa Rose Petal,
Como Agua Para Chocolate.
Selena, con los ojos ardiendo,
su pelo negro balanceo,
sus labios carnosos, tu pecho dulce
como la Venus de Botticelli, una flor de verdad
plagado de espinas de más.
Mi latino amor,
como me duele, ay,
como me duele.
                            Cómo duele
con dolor pegajoso, dulce, mi canción favorita,
"Como La Flor" - su dura regalo
para nosotros sigue vivo con esperanza:
la vida, calor y amor.

--Copyright © Clifton Snider and Melvin Rosales, 2012


To see more of my poems, link on to the following:
Art and Poetry,  with  translations into French and Spanish of my poem, "Aspen in the Wind"
Art and Poetry II.
The Cave of Niaux, with a translation into French of my poem, "The Cave  of Niaux"
Le Mont Saint-Michel.
Mountain Lion.
St. Anthony's Chruch, with a translation into Spanish and Arabic of my poem, "St. Anthony's Church"

Read a poem, "New Age," from The Age of the Mother.

See also Art and Poetry III.

Read about my novel, Loud Whisper, whose protagonist is the front man for an 80s rock band, and about Bare Roots, the story of an only child of divorced parents, Justin, born in Wisconsin, who grows up in Southern California from age seven and discovers who he is through an affair with his roommate at a Christian fundamentalist college.  My novel, Wrestling with Angels: A Tale of Two Brothers, has been published by Xlibris. And my first historical novel, The Plymouth Papers, was published by Spout Hill Press (2016).  All are available on Amazon and other online sites.

And read about my new book of poetry, Aspens in the Wind.

Page copyright © Clifton Snider, 2019.


Page last revised: 13 January 2019