Getting There

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The idea for this poem originated from a blog post written by The Taler called Found Poems. In it the author explains how one can take an excerpt from a written passage and create something different, for instance a poem. In my piece I’ve chosen words from Dennis O’Driscoll’s No Thanks and Frank Horne’s Walk. Mixing phrases around like a bag of scrabble letters, I’ve managed to come up with a somewhat different context, which I must say was fun!

Franks Horne’s poem Walk may be a challenge to find online, but I was in love from the  first stanza:

I am trying

to learn to walk again…

all tensed and trembling

I try so hard, so hard…


O’Driscoll’s  No Thanks  became my mantra years ago, and I chuckle at this poem every time I read it. You should read it, too.


Your Turn:  Take a passage and ‘remix’ it. Feel free to share under comments or via a post. And if you want to up the ante, take several passages and see what you can mash-up.


Artist & Writer: Monte Robinson

I have shared several of his poems and essays on the blog–BROKEN DOLL, GIVERS VS TAKERSINCOMPLETE; we’ve collaborated on a few projects, or at least tried (FREESTYLE); and now, Mr. Robinson, aka The Writerly Genius, has finally granted an interview.

Do you agree with the cliché that creative types are misunderstood?
​I do​ agree with that statement, because of personal experiences and scientific research. Artists are often stereotyped as weirdos, and I think some of that perceived weirdness derives from the creativity we hung onto and expanded throughout our lives. We do not quite fit into the box of what is considered “normal” due to our natural born talent.
I draw, paint, write short stories, and dabble in poetry. Those things require me to think differently than the average person. I think all artists think differently than the average person, which can lead to us being misunderstood. In many cases, I just experience the world in a way that others do not. When I look at real life landscapes, I see them as two dimensional like they were on a canvas. At random times, lines and stanzas just pop into my mind.
From an educator’s standpoint, how would you encourage a young person interested in the Arts? How would you  encourage your younger self?
Usually when students tell me they cannot write poems, short stories, or plays, I reassure them that they have the ability, and they just need to tap into it. Generally, they are afraid that it will not be good enough, so I explain to them that “good” is relative. Some may like it; some may not, so write something that you will enjoy. My mother was very supportive of my artistic side, so I would encourage my younger self the same way she did.
We often hear the term “natural-born talent”, do you feel we have innate gifts, or is creativity one of those things learned over time?
​I believe we are all born with creativity. When left to their own devices, kids come up with some creative – sometimes crazy – stuff. I think some of us are more developed in specific areas than others, also. My mom said I started drawing at age 3. I remember being in Headstart at age 5 and drawing my own cartoon characters on the back of the pages they gave us to color. I think schools, adults, and the need to fit-in kills the creativity. ​
You’re both an artist and a writer. Which of these was most dominant in your formative years? In later years? Are there similarities in each field?
In my formative years, I was more of an artist. I did not think of myself as a writer at all. I still don’t. Looking back, I realize that I used to tell short stories to entertain my cousins. It was usually silly stuff, but it fit my age. I really enjoyed drawing, and it garnered lots of support, so it was much more of a factor for most of my life. I only started writing within the last fifteen years after I stopped drawing and painting. It started with blogging. I had a way of getting my point across in story form and that eventually morphed into writing short stories. My ex-wife was a poet, so I kind of started messing around with poetry because of her.​​
The similarities between the two are that I am trying to tell a story. The differences are – besides the obvious- I have to find just the right way to tell my story in a single image while drawing versus writing​​ ​where I paint the picture with as many or as few words as I like.​
Imagine you have time to pursue a creative project. What would it be?
I would write a novel. For years now, it has felt like something I was destined to do. It is hard to explain. It just feels like the next step.​

In one word. Writing is _____________


Composer: James L Revels

You mention that you are a “self-taught” composer. Can you elaborate on that? How did you learn the ins and outs so-to-speak?

The “self-taught” part refers to the music composition and audio engineering. I learned how to do this by practicing engineering on the vocals of my high school friends who used to rap and by making instrumentals in my free time. I will admit I was taught how to read music in elementary, but that didn’t help me when it came time to compose.  I had to learn everything else from books, Google, and experimentation.

Have you always had a passion for music?

I haven’t always had a passion for music.  Initially, I wanted to be a writer–specifically poetry–but I came to feel that most people wouldn’t listen to my poems unless they were over music.  So, during high school I bought a five-dollar gaming mic, began experimenting with music, and the rest is history.

How many hours a day or week do you work on your music? Tell us what a typical day for James is like.

I practice about 20-40 hours a week depending on my work schedule. A typical day involves waking up at 7 or 8 a.m., then jumping on my keyboard for about an hour. After that, I get online to check the social media and work on a composition or instrument building in Reason.  After that, the day is pretty free-form. I could be going to work or going to hang out with my music mates of Radikal Nation as we work on our group album. I’m still an ordinary person, for now 🙂

In what ways do you promote other artists?  Tell us about some of the venues in which you promote both your music and that of others.

I promote artists primarily on the internet. Particularly, my blog ( or on Radikal Nation’s blog ( RN does have an official website ( which we plan on turning into a place where musicians from all over can network and talk in our forum, but right now the site is in its infancy. We are still gathering support for it.

Any advice for those looking to get into  composing and/or writing music?

I’d say, “network almost as much as you practice,” because what’s the point of having music that no one is going to know about and listen to?

Five contemporary artists you admire and five legendary and/or old school artists you look up to:

1. Zun

2. Masashi Hamauzu


4. Fall Out Boy

5. Nobuo Uematsu


1. Nas (lyrically)

2. Claude Debussy

3. Jimi Hendrix

4. Gustov Holst

5. Modest Mussorgsky

Who or what inspires your music?

Curiosity inspires my music the most. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said, “Geometry is frozen music.” I take this completely literal, and I’m trying to see how far I can take that idea. It’s better understood with a few pictures of my note [I’ve attached a few pictures for you]

In one word, music is __________



Radikal Nation Presents…夏炉冬扇 Karo Tōsen (Summer Heater, Winter Fan) and XXXplicit CompleXXXion Series. Karo is my 45 minute summer project which takes you through a variety of sounds and is practice for my first album which is to be released as soon as I upgrade to Reason 7. You should download it so you don’t miss out on the 6 download exclusive tracks. (
XXXplicit CompleXXXion Series by Divine Linez is a sensual 4 track mixtape for those who have some extra freakiness they just can’t seem to release. Unlike the average sex rapper, Divine Line brings the aesthetic of a poet, while still being raw and frank. Whether you prefer a Mz. Dark, Brown, or Light Skin ,or happen to be a Miss yourself, I’m sure you will find a track for you. (
composerintervattchIMG_20130926_100828 IMG_20130926_101042 IMG_20130926_101249 IMG_20130926_101554
Thank you, James, for an excellent interview. Best wishes on your new release.
Interviewed by Shonte’ S  aka Whatevertheyaint

Untitled (8-14-13)

Impress upon our minds a kiss,

a smooth caress and linger still

amid our dreams, nocturnal bliss

And we’ll drink the words until

the day arrives, expressions cease,

and lucid conscience is released

Unto the world our souls return

Until tomorrow spirits yearn






*Any suggestions for a title? Do share under comments.

Power To the Powder

So, I was playing around yesterday afternoon and came across a prompt/challenge from the Nanoers over on FB. The idea was to take a snack and give it a story.

He wasn’t like the other donuts. He was plain—no glaze, no chocolate, just round and ordinary. But today was the day.  He’d been watching the baker for weeks.  Today was the day he’d sneak in and have an affair with the powder!

Would she go for him?  He wasn’t sure, with her being so sweet and all. Plus, she was white and, well, he was a little on the brown side.  But together they could do great things.


Thinkin’… Music & Artforms: Frank Ocean

So I came to the song late.  And maybe I’m not as hip to the music game as I used to be.  And perhaps I ceased tuning in to the radio because every song consisted of getting into bed, leaving a club, grinding while in a club, or getting one’s drank on.  Ain’t knocking the music hustle,  just grew tired of the lack of creativity.

But that changed on the way home one night.

On this night, someone called my name, my middle name, the six-letter word add apostrophe that only a few know. I didn’t stop, but it came again– spoken softly, the way only one person could. My feet came to a halt as I cautiously looked around.  And that’s when I saw him.

You know that awkward moment when you haven’t seen someone in eons (in this case, a decade) and you don’t know whether to nod, shake hands, side pat, or ignore them altogether?  I went for the nod; he chose the bear hug.   So, I immediately withdrew, the way any sane, legally attached, content/happily married woman would.  Gave the standard, “Good seeing you,” which, basically translates into a cordial buh-bye.

For good measure, I added, “Yeah, really  have to go.  Need to pick up such-n-such and after that, I have to such-n-stuff-n-such.” Then I got in my car and, by chance, turned on the radio. What did I hear? Some dude talking about Idaho and California.  But I kept listening.  And then he hit falsetto:  “But…do you…not…think so far…ahead…”

I turned the volume higher as I rounded the corner.  I listened.  And smiled.

Frank Ocean

Channel Orange


Faves on constant repeat:

  • Thinkin’ Bout You
  • Pink Matter
  • Sierra Leone
  • White (Should have been a song but some tight-boss jazz!)
  • Sweet Life
  • Super Rich Kids
  • Pilot Jones
  • Bad Religion
  • Forrest Gump
  • Pyramids