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ISSUE # 16 - moni's top 10 minus 3
January 25, 1999 11:08 AM
GREETINGS TO ALL ON THIS LAST MONDAY OF THE FIRST MONTH OF 1999!
I want to thank you so much for your "Monday Mail"
because it turns my Monday blues into Monday energy.
(1/20/99 email from Sandra Bell)
1) THE FIFTH DIMENSION SANG ABOUT IT - AQUARIUS (January 20th through
February 18th), the 11th sign of the zodiac in astrology. Celebrities
celebrating birthdays are singer-songwriter, Neil Diamond; singer,
Aaron Neville; and actress, Tatyana Ali. If you want an autograph
from another celebrity who celebrated her birthday on Sunday, January
24th, first you will have to bribe her bodyguard and husband, Alonzo.
a) _______ Bassett
b) Add an (A) to Angel; and
c) Love has no complications when she really, really loves you (poems of the 7)
She has definitely seen enough snow in CHICAGO. Now, the only snowman
she wants to see is one who can shovel snow. Join me in wishing my
baby sister from the WINDY CITY, ANGELA JONES-CARR, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
If you are wondering what to get her as a birthday gift, send her a
VIRTUAL SNOW BLOWER!! Please feel free to send your birthday wishes
to Angela at (Angela.Carr-Jones@siemenscom.com).
2) THANKS FROM GALINA AND ERYN HEWITT - (permission granted to share this email)
Again thanks so much for allowing Eryn's poem to be featured on
the Niche. When I first told her of it she was very excited and
expressed a form of happiness I hadn't seen in a very long time (from
her). Eryn stopped smiling when her father passed away four years ago.
We were spared some sadness with the birth of her sister Lyndsey (Lynn
was born the day her father was buried). Since then, Eryn has only
expressed her feelings to her diary and Lyndsey. She takes the time to
teach this little person everything she has inside of her (her
kindness and warmth are seen when these two are together). We both
have discovered happiness thru a large amount of sadness, and now
thanks to you guys I have my daughter back (slowly, but back). Eryn is
writing more, and coming out of an extremely hard shell (trying to
over come that difficult age where everything is wrong about her). She
smiles occasionally (but speaks less). Eryn is a very beautiful and
bright young lady whom with the help of people like you is finally seeing
what the rest of us have seen for almost 11 years now.
Thanks to you, Bam-Bam, David, and the other poets for your praise and
encouragement. You guys have done more for Eryn than words can ever say.
3) CONCLUSION OF MY INTERVIEW ROSE (bambam) COOPER (email@example.com) -
moni: Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee and Poets Niche
member. How did you combine all these roles and still have time to write
over 100 poems last year?
bams: I cheat. No, really, I'm a serious homebody, and except for
playing the occasional video game or watching "ER", I don't watch much
TV, so I spend a lot of time on my computer (though much less than I
did in the past. I'm Not Addicted, I Can Give This Up Anytime I Want...).
I see writing as my true calling, so it'd be weird for me
to *not* write, y'know?
moni: How did you come up with your writing style, and do you just write
bams: Style...hmmm...it just flows outta me like that; I try to not
write a certain way, though I do prefer non-rhyming poetry. The only
real concession I make to style is that I started out doing my poetry
in lowercase to differentiate it from regular email; like my son
nicknaming me "BamBam", this stuck too. e.e.cummings, I'm not; but
he's not /bams either, eh? As far as other writing, it's strange; I
started out writing poetry the first time way back when I was in
junior high, as a mode of escapism, but by the time I went to college
and fell in love, I stopped writing altogether. A few years back, a
woman on an email list I'm on was getting married, and I related the
story of our wedding reception (don't ask. It gives me heartburn.),
and from there I started writing short stories about my life, which
are divided up into three series: Love Stories, Mother's Stories, and
Child's Stories. Then when my son Jumbe joined the Army in 1996 (after
putting us through hell when he was 16), I started writing poetry again,
setting aside the Stories for awhile. I do plan on getting back to them,
and I have some ideas in my head for some fictional short stories, and
hopefully soon, a novel.
moni: Have your life experiences become the framework for some of your
bams: All of them. Almost all, anyway. I've laid my Self out butt
nekkid for the world to see, in my poetry; the last piece I wrote as of
1/14/99 ("one more. just one.") was particularly excrutiating, having
been written literally in the throes of a fever. I find it difficult to
write about anything outside my experiences (which is causing me problems
with the fiction I'm trying to write). As I wrote in "beauty eludes
elusive beauty" (a piece I wrote about how I feel in reading the works of
the Niche'ers coming across my screen), for me, "it always comes back to
past pain/present understandings/future hopes".
moni: Even though it may seem impossible to believe because of the
number of poems you have written and submitted to the Poets Niche, but
do you ever have writer's block?
bams: heh...I do, but since net.time is way more compressed than real
time, my block doesn't last nearly as long. The way I figure it, I
probably have only so much poetry in me, and it's gushing out now; it'll
trickle sooner or later, and eventually, stop altogether. So I'm ridin
this wave while the ridin's good...
moni: Do you find that you express your feelings and opinions better in
the written word as opposed to spoken words?
bams: Most def. Another piece I wrote--"Y Eye Rite: a rambling essay
in multiple pieces"--speaks to this in painful detail. Believe it or
not, I'm extremely shy (no, really. Really.) or at least very
introverted, and combined with being tongue-tied and given to the
occassional stutter, I'm *much* more comfortable with writing than I
am with speaking. Comparatively, I'm Bloody Brilliant in writing, and
quite the idiot in verbalizing. No Slams for Bammer, oh well.
moni: How did you find out about the Poets Niche?
bams: J Lanier, a friend from the soc.culture.african.american
newsgroup, told me about it. I shall remain forever grateful for
that. I must admit, I was skeptical at first, but Moni and the Niches
be'en bery bery guud to meh.
moni: Who and what inspires you to write?
bams: I wish I could say something poetik, like "a breeze/crossing my
brow/reminds me of verse", but in truth, everyday life does it for me;
the love that I share with my husband and sons inspires a great deal of
it, plus the adventures I go on on my bike, or skydiving, white-water
rafting--you know, everyday life. This is cool, though, because it
allows my stuff to remain (for lack of a better term) accessible to
folks; I write po'tree fo' da kommon man, stuff that people can pick up
and say "hmmm...yeah, I know this feeling!" relatively easily. I've
always considered myself more a storyteller than a writer anyway--a griot
of the written word, so to speak--and this comes through, I think, in my
poetry as well as my prose. I adore Toni Morrison and the way she
writes, even though I struggle to understand what she's saying, but as
for me, I'm an ordinary woman living an extraordinary life, and that's
what I write about.
moni: Are you currently working on a book of poetry? Any titles yet that
you would like to share with us?
bams: Glad you asked. S'matter of fact, I am; I've actually written
132 pieces so far since 1996 that I'm putting into two collections,
both titled "BAMMER'S GROOVE". The first 100 are already set to go,
and are subtitled "Petals And Thorns", and when I've written a few
more for the second collection, it'll be subtitled "Many Voices".
This is the plan, anyway. I've even taken the next step towards
actually publishing them (I've never done that before): I went out and
bought the "Writer's Guide", which I've been told is a great resource
for the writer looking to become published. ProcrastiBams hasn't
actually *read* the Guide yet, but I will. And of course, I remain
open to whatever advice those who've already been published, want to
give to me.
moni: I noticed in a couple of your poems that you have a sister
named Monica. Do you believe because my name is also Monica/moni, that
we instantly connected?
bams: I thought it was cuz I kept buggin ya!
moni: If you had to write a poem that sums up your life thus far and how
you see the future, what would you write?
bams: The last 132 poems I've written...
moni: bams, thanks for sharing YOUR WHIRL with us. And, continued
success my sister!
bams: Thanks hon; and, you're welcome.
4) MALCOLM X GETS U.S. STAMP - NEW YORK - Postal Service Governor S.
David Fineman unveiled the 33-cent stamp at the Apollo Theatre in the
Harlem section of New York. Guests at the presentation included
Malcolm's daughters - Attallah, Gamilah, Ilyasah, Malaak, Malikah and
Qubilah Shabazz. Also present Wednesday were actors, Ossie Davis and
Ruby Dee, singer, Harry Belafonte, and 60 Minutes correspondent Mike
Wallace. The Boys Choir of Harlem performed. The new stamp is to go
on sale Thursday. It's the 22nd in the Black Heritage series that also
includes stamps honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and
5) THROW ME SOMETHIN' MISTER - The City is gearing up for the GREATEST
SHOW ON EARTH - MARDI GRAS! The traditional king cakes, parades and
marching bands are ready to roll and will do so until FAT TUESDAY on
February 16th. For up-to-date information, check out(http://www.mardigras.com/).
JUST A LITTLE TRIVIA - the Mayor of New Orleans was a junior in high
school and I was a sophomore. This was also the same year I marched in
my last parade in the Vieux Carre/French Quarter. I was one of four high
steppers and played the flute for the McDonogh 35 Roneagles. The year
was - 1974!!
6) A black man heard sounds from an open door at 5:00 a.m., and tried
to look beyond the unknown faces, but only saw cobwebs in the corner.
(Hint - The titles of this weeks poems all rolled into a sentence).
HE LOOKED BEYOND - by Monique N. Fradieu - firstname.lastname@example.org
COBWEBS IN THE CORNER by Sandra Bushell - SatinFrog@aol.com
5AM by Tyese Dantzler - email@example.com
SOUNDS FROM AN OPEN DOOR by Paul Dahlke
UNKNOWN FACES by Marilyn Marshall - MBeeHoney@webcom.com
A BLACK MAN by Tina Marie Clark - firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the poems of four of our newest members in POEMS OF THE WEEK 22
at (www.nichemarket.com). WAY TO GO POETS!!
Paul Dahlke, my apologizes. I can't seem to find your email address.
Please forward so I can add it to the Poems of the Week.
7) TOUCHED - Several years ago, I was a member of a Christian writer's
group, The Christian Way. The editor (and now my good friend) Kae
Jaworski, once told me, "Your kindness will touch many. But, you will
never know how you have touched someone, until you have been touched by
them." Not only have the members of the Poets Niche encouraged and
inspired each other, but you have also put a smile on 10 year old Eryn
Hewitt's face. And for that, I am truly touched by your generosity.
Continue to change someone's life by touching them with your kindness.
Remember, if you remove the "H" in Nic(h)e, it becomes NICE!
Below is moni's poem of the week. This poem is special to me
because it was written as a graduation gift for my son. Comments
always greatly appreciated.
much love always,
A WISH FOR GUS
Born to a mother still a child, into this world with
two strikes against him -- the sins of others, and
skin the color of tar.
He announced his arrival with a tumultuous wail. Born
six pounds, four ounces, in the land of the free but
home to the slaves.
Once mama's little boy, now five-seven, wearing size eleven.
We fought over the telephone, and what time to be home.
What do I wish for my colored, Negro, black, African-American
son, born into a legacy of dwindling hope, hatred and despair?
I wish he rises above the mist, and figure a way out of the
Some say a woman can't teach a boy to be a man. That wasn't
my role nor my goal. I hope he knows I did the best I could.
I provided for his every need, but cracked the whip when he
What do I wish this child of mine, the heir to all my
unfulfilled dreams? My wish is that he learn to stand
on his own. Stand proud acknowledging those who sacrificed
so he wouldn't have to. Stand ready to serve those less
I pray that any self-doubt spoon-fed to him by others, will
not be what he hangs his self-worth on. I hope that when
I'm dead and gone, he's prepared to live on. And with each
passing day, he'll make his own way.
I wish Gus eternal love. My flesh and blood.
Monica D. Blache (c)