‘Chicana Learns Survival from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ by Karla Cordero

— Reneé Bibby

When you are little, when you are a mixed-race, wild-haired girl growing up in the 80’s looking for a hero, your pickings are slim. Nothing of the treacly Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, or Care Bears could feed me. I wanted violence, action, and vengeance; I was obsessed with She-Ra and every other male-centric cartoon, (hello, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, and He-Man) where a few token female characters would keep up with the guys.

Karlo Cordero’s prose poem is an homage to that formative childhood time when we’re hungry for heroes and find them where we can; because, even children are looking at art to reflect our lives. So, maybe you don’t have a Chicana-centric cartoon (or any Chicanas at all) but by god there are still splinters of our story out there, and we will find them, map them out onto our own lives, we’ll take them—our She-Ras and Ninja Turtles. We’ll suck the marrow out of every media we can find for every bit that can sustain us.

FreezeRay Poetry