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ISSUE # 16 - moni's top 10 minus 3
January 25, 1999 11:08 AM

               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. Clues: 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 ( =================================================================== 2) THANKS FROM GALINA AND ERYN HEWITT - (permission granted to share this email) Moni: 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. Thanks again, Galina ====================================================================
3) CONCLUSION OF MY INTERVIEW ROSE (bambam) COOPER ( - 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 poetry? bams: 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 poems? 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 W.E.B. DuBois. ======================================================================
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( 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 - COBWEBS IN THE CORNER by Sandra Bushell - 5AM by Tyese Dantzler - SOUNDS FROM AN OPEN DOOR by Paul Dahlke UNKNOWN FACES by Marilyn Marshall - A BLACK MAN by Tina Marie Clark - Check out the poems of four of our newest members in POEMS OF THE WEEK 22 at ( 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, moni ===============================================================
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 labyrinth. 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 didn't heed. 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 fortunate. 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)

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