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.
- 100: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97 & 98: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones