I love quotes. From that perspective I’m a real girly girl. Add in a beautifully curated Instagram account and you had me at “Valencia”! If you troll Instagram like I do, being my current social media platform of choice, I’m pretty certain you would have noticed some beautiful prose artfully depicted in typewriter font printed on homemade paper. The likes of Sophia Bush and Kim Kardashian have reposted these works with the elusive “r.m. drake” sign off at the bottom. Which got me wondering… who is R.M. Drake and why does he write such moving words? I got hold of him and asked him exactly that.
Roxy: Why poetry? What is it about written language that you love?
Robert: The word is the strongest form of art. In the beginning there was god and god was the word, but not to involve religion. Poetry is the rawest form of any written art. Poetry is not governed by any practical language laws. It is free form. Just write that is all. I love that. I love its freedom.
Roxy: What did you do before your Instagram account became a viral sensation?
Robert: I was an art director for Univision. Univision is a media company. I was in charge of marketing and advertising. I did artwork for web and mobile, artwork for major companies like Walmart, Jcpenny, IKEA, Kellogg’s, Ford and many more. It was fun. I have always been an artist.
Roxy: Are your poems more skewed to fact or fiction? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Robert: They are mostly facts. I tend to borrow from experiences I have gone through for my poetry. My novels are more fictional. I am exploring the art, that is what makes the word so beautiful. The fact that you can make stories up or write about certain events that have happened in your life. That’s a beautiful thing. A real thing.
Roxy: So… Who is the elusive ”she” you speak of so often?
Robert: Many women I know. Friends, family and lovers.
Roxy: Why do you think so many people, across the globe, deeply relate to your writings?
Robert: I think because it represents a general core. The main blueprint. Things we all could relate to. It is funny how people think they are so different from one another anywhere in the globe, but the reality is that we are all so the same. We all go through the same things. Our lives are just different moments at different times but ultimately the same.
Roxy: Did you purposefully decide on a particular aesthetic for your Instagram account? The typewriter on hand made paper?
Robert: Yes, I was writing poetry on tumblr in 2010 then I just stopped. In 2011-2012 I jumped back on it. I had an older account before this one doing the same thing but it was more art and poetry. I would post my own artwork with a poem in the caption. It grew very fast, but then I deleted it. A few months later in 2012 I reopened it and wanted to use the typewriter. At that time it was something not many people where doing. In fact, there was about 7 poets doing the same thing. Now everyone is doing it which is a beautiful thing. I think everyone should be an artist one way or another. To me if you’re not doing art then you’re missing out on something.
Roxy: Can we look forward to some long form writing from you?
Robert: Yes. I have a few novels I have completed.
A Brilliant Madness (late 2015 poems)
Chasing the gloom (early 2016 novel)
Beautiful and damned (late 2016 novel)
Sunflower (2017 novel)
All I do is write. I write frantically because my brother died in 2014. Ever since he died it makes me feel like I, too, will go soon. So I am trying to leave as much as I can behind. I think about death everyday. It is something normal for me now. It is the only flame that keeps me going.
Here are a few more of his short-form works.
You can own a signed copy of your favourite R.M. Drake poem and use it as a decor piece. Shop his Etsy store here.