Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

BooksApril 1, 2022

The Friday Poem: To Find Your Heroes Are Shit Dancers, by romesh dissanayake

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

A new poem by Wellington poet romesh dissanayake.

To Find Your Heroes Are Shit Dancers

Jerry Collins once came to our school
he got up at assembly and talked to us about how
we ought to stay in school and do our work in class

whatta bots guy, Jerry
what did he know of how I had to

glow up in the dark
a celestial luminescence

had to do push-ups in the bathtub
while sounding out vowels

had to give it my all
and do it for cheap

half-caste, my arse

still broken down into fractions
still called exotic

let me tell you how i

trojan-horse’d my chink eyes
amongst the obedient and polite

crept out under a waning moon
and lassoed your dreams

to find your heroes are shit dancers
while my braided tassels, dripping, swing free


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again soon.

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