Laugh and Cry
A found poem of bits of dialogue from the telenovela “Celia,” translated from the Spanish by Susan Thomsen
I don’t want to talk about that with you.
Is that clear, my heart?
This can’t be happening to me.
It’s okay. Calm down.
Good, my life. It’s your turn.
You have to forgive me. It was all in my head.
Tell me, tell me.
Yes, my love.
Give me a hug.
What do you feel for me?
Listen, listen, get up.
My heart feels everything for you.
Tomorrow is another day.
I promise you.
One day I would like to see the rest of this show of 80 episodes, but for the longest time, I could not re-find it. (Update. It's now streaming on Peacock TV. Yay!) When I stopped watching, the Cuban-born future Queen of Salsa had neither won the big singing contest nor left the island for Mexico (and later the United States.) There is so much more to come. You can tell that there's a love story at the center, right?
For the poem, I translated some dramatic moments, and then remixed them. The title comes from "Rie y llora," a hit from 2003. "Azúcar!" was a trademark Celia Cruz saying. (See the Smithsonian's Marvette Perez explain it here.)
The Poetry Friday roundup for September 24 is at author Laura Purdie Salas's blog.
Photo by ST of artist Eliezer Leicea's mural honoring Celia Cruz. It's on the wall of the restaurant Amor Cubano, Third Avenue and 111th Street, NYC.
Below is a favorite video of the real Celia Cruz at a soundcheck in the 70s. That voice!