Vince Robinson

Where Melanin Dwells

Northeast · Glenville · Poetry

young voices bleed through the silence
of night

hear me
say they

sonic booms
and sparkling dollars
light the sky
through dawn

feel me
cry they

leaving debris
to line the streets of their displeasure

in Glenville
and every other ’ville
where melanin dwells

redlined lead filled
toxic soils lower life expectancies

takes a back seat to abundant
processed nutrition-less
bodega matter in plastic packages
courting cortisol
causing loss of control

absence of nature
leaves a void in judgement

lack of culture
leads to nonexistent respect

no apology

replaced by the cacophony
of scattered explosions
shouting indifference

as the walls come tumbling down
in spectacular fashion
until now

no one has the answer
to Marvin’s anthem

uncertainty reigns supremely
with the planetary energy
singing its song

change will come
when it comes
and no


normal’s return

Vince Robinson

Vince Robinson is a writer who has lived in Glenville for the past twenty-eight years. He has been writing poetry since high school and his first writing class at Kent State University in 1975.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


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325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

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Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit