Robyn Brooks

blues poem

the heart beats notes treble clef like jazz
half beat half time making time syncopation
heart beats 8/8 time fusion scat
flat whole half clef 5/8 3/16 up from the blues
sharp staccato out of the black
crescendo beat red


Reprinted from Berkeley Poetry Review by permission of the author.


Robyn Brooks, a native of Washington, DC, is the author of a chapbook; venus in retrograde (Finishing Line Press, 2015). A poet and playwright, Brooks earned her M.F.A. in Poetry from Mills College, and B.A. in English, from UC Berkeley. She is an Emily Chamberlain Cook Prize in Poetry recipient, a former Student-Teacher-Poet for June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and a VONA/Voices alum fellow. Her poetry has been published in Berkeley Poetry Review, Penumbra, Milvia Street, The Walrus, The Womanist, and the anthologies What I Want From You: Voices of East Bay Lesbian Poets and Blues Arrival: Stories of the Queer Black South. Brooks participated in a playwriting residency for PlayGround at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2007 - 2013). Her plays have been staged at Berkeley Repertory, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project Women’s Work; Theatre of Yugen; Theatre Rhinoceros; and Los Angeles Women’s Theater Project.