By | 1 May 2019

The ninja turtles are the greatest heroes of our generation.
Heart to heart, this isn’t nostalgia but stone-cold revelation.
Brother, in this time of polar shelfs eroding and coroners
combing the streets for dead girls’ bodies, I suggest all our heroes
rise in the future from the sewers of our torrid cities, renaissance
renewed from the filth of the underground and the litter of empty
pizza boxes, diapers, coke cans, hip hop and corrupt language;
COWABUNGA! At 12, I hoped Donatello would show up and take me
from the placid suburbs of Melbourne to the streets of New York
where a shared sense of casual hatred and social abandonment
permeated. Don’t think this poem is a riff on the allegory of minority
as mutant. I have no desire to look back in time and give a meaning
which otherwise doesn’t exist. What I’m talking about is a spell
you can set when you are 13 and 3 months old to call on superheroes.
It’s the one I used to summon Raphael when a kid stole my swimming
goggles at the local pool, his webbed feet catching on wet stone.
Another time my guinea pig Oscar went into epileptic shock
and Leo raced him in time to the vet. And I summoned them all
when my dad was in hospital, his heart having stopped working.
The beep beep beep of the nurse-call reminds me of the spell.
And when the turtles came they beat and fixed his chest
BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT. I’m running with them now
with nunchucks and swords whirling our way through the city.
Can you see us Brother? We are soaring through the streets grinning.
Cutting down our enemies in our path. Never lowering our gaze.

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