Susan F. Robinson


January 27, 2014

Turn off your television.
While reading this poem.
Turn off your radio.
Turn off your phone.
Shut down your computer.

Do you remember what you came in the room for?
Maybe it’s under the sofa, or on the new dresser.
Possibly it fell behind the white refrigerator,
or between the cracks in the wood floor.
Check the pockets of those jeans you just washed.
Look in the dirty ones, too.
Touch the top of your head. Is it there?
Look at your hand. Are you holding it?

Turn off this poem.

Susan F. Robinson fell in love with poetry in the fifth grade thanks to a brilliant Language Arts teacher and began writing as a freshman in high school. She received a BS in Legal Studies from Mercy College, and a MALS from Manhattanville College, where she had a chance to take classes in the MFA program. She is the first person in her mother’s family to be born in the United States. Her mother migrated from Jamaica in the 1970s, and her father is from Montgomery, Alabama where her grandmother drove for the carpools during the bus boycotts. She derives strength and inspiration from both of them. In her spare time she enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, surfing the net, pushing her smartphone to the limit, and of course writing poetry. She was raised in the Bronx and now resides in Harlem, NY with her daughter.

What motivates her to create:
“Creation usually starts with a question that leads to more unanswerable questions about change and the human condition. Emotions hidden in seemingly obvious places overwhelm me. I feel an urgency to preserve these because so much gets overlooked or forgotten by passers-by. The ping of an idea can begin in many ways—the wisdom in an aged face on a train, leaves waving to their stems in autumn, the scent of finely sharpened pencils in hand, a bag lady searching the trash for bottles and cans. I exist in these traces. I want readers to recognize themselves as well. The bottom line is that there is no one thing I can point to and say, ‘Yes, that is the thing that motivates me to create.’ It is more a yearning to explore my thoughts, to sharply interrogate my beliefs, and to dodge the inner turmoil that breeds when I don’t sketch it in words.”