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ISSUE # 18

  FEBRUARY 08, 1999
                       * Ph.D. - Procrastination hampers Dreams! *
                                     moni (c) 1999
1)  GET YOUR VERY OWN POET'S PROFILE WEBSITE - Here's what Saleem has 
to say about being the first member to have his own webpage:
moni:  First, how do you like your web page?
saleem:  I think the Pointer Sisters said it best, "I'm So EXCITED!"  
I truly love how it was conceived and designed and I am ecstatic 
that it went up during Black History Month.
moni:  Why did you decide to do a poet's profile, and what do you 
hope your profile will convey to those who view your web page?
saleem:  . . . I'm about to lose control and I think . . .(oh, the 
question) umm, I did it for a number of reasons.  I thought it was a 
great way to express my writing in a way that I had never done and to 
let others know that it might work for them as well.  I hope it conveys 
that I'm just as near as a computer and that I am a down-to-earth, 
simple, kinda off-the-wall brother that likes to laugh and likes to 
write.  Besides, I'm in a very isolated and remote part of Massachusetts 
and it is hard to stay connected and share cultural stuff with others 
like ourselves, so this is a wonderful vehicle.
moni:  Do you belong to any other on-line writer's/poetry group?  If 
so, how is the Poets Niche uniquely different?
saleem:  God no. . . not at this time, I truly would not have the time.  
I may surf into other sites now and then, but the Niche I feel is home 
and everyone is right there when I need to talk or simply give a 
moni:  Part of our goal was to use the internet to connect 
writer's/poets with other writer's/poets.  How has being a member 
allowed you to connect and communicate with other poets, and more 
importantly, what have you learned from the other poets?
saleem:  It has benefited me trememdously, I have learned some new ways 
to approach marketing a book, have been able to find out what other 
poets have tried and what has been successful.  It is such a positive 
group of folks that whenever I need a boost I can pick up the phone, go 
on-line, or read some of the work that other nicher's have written.
moni:  Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
saleem:  I like to swim and I like walking and doing yoga. I like 
listening to jazz, new age, blues and classical music.  
moni:  You've been a member since our infancy stage.  Do you have any 
final words or (parting gifts) you'd like to share with us or would you 
like new members to know about the Poets Niche?
saleem:  If you believe it you can achieve it. . .if you stay at it 
long enough your stuff will be published.  Remember that "writer's 
write", just keep writing, then write some more -- Write ON!   It goes 
without saying that none of this could or would have happened without 
yours & Walt's help and tireless dedication.  I am looking forward to 
1999 being a banner year for the Poets Niche and everyone involved. 
Check out SALEEM'S WEBPAGE at ( 
and tell us, as well as Saleem, what you think.
To GET YOUR VERY OWN POETS PROFILE WEBSITE for people to see your work, 
hear you perform it, buy copies of your book if you've already been 
published and possibly hire you for readings, performance events etc., 
here's all you have to do:
For $149 (one time, no other charges ever!) you'll get:
- a Poets Profile webpage on our site 
- Your own URL (
- Your picture
- Your bio (may include info on your event, books, etc.)
- 2-3 poems or short story
- Link to another website that you may have
- Our own "25 Secrets to Promoting Your Website ($10 separately)"
- the knowledge that websites can cost you $500, $1000, $10,000 and 
more out in the real world!
- the respect and admiration of family, friends, strangers and little 
- For an additional $25 you can have a recording of you performing your 
- You can pay in 3 installments if you wish
Please email Walt at ( to get your own webpage.

2)  LEAVING THE CITY OF REGRET by Larry Harp ( - 
      I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and 
yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly.  This trip was going to be 
unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it.  
I'm talking about my annual "Guilt Trip."
      I got tickets to fly there on "WISHIHAD" airlines.  It was an 
extremely short flight.  I got my baggage, which I could not check.  I 
chose to carry it myself all the way.  It was weighted down with a 
thousand memories of what might have been.  No one greeted me as I 
entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport.  I say 
international because people from all over the world come to this dismal 
      As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would 
be hosting the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party.  I 
wasn't going to miss that great social occasion.  Many of the towns 
leading citizens would be there.
      First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would 
Have and Could Have.  Then came the I Had family.  You probably know ol' 
Wish and his clan.  Of course, the Opportunities would be present, 
Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday's. There are 
far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story 
to share.
      Then Shattered Dreams would surely make and appearance.  And It's 
Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had 
failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't 
Blame Me and I Couldn't Help It.
      Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party 
knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so.  And, as usual, 
I became very depressed.  But as I thought about all of the stories of 
failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this 
trip and subsequent "pity party" could be canceled by ME!  I started to 
truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be 
depressed.  One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN'T CHANGE 
be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. 
      Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no 
forwarding address.  Am I sorry for mistakes I've made in the past?  
YES!  But there is no physical way to undo them.
      So, if you're planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please 
cancel all your reservations now.  Instead, take a trip to a place 
called, Starting Again.  I liked it so much that I have now taken up 
permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the 
New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don't have to carry 
around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders 
upon arrival.  God bless you in finding this great town.  If you can 
find it -- it's in your own heart -- please look me up.  I live on 
ICANDOIT street.
Thank you Larry for granting me permission to reprint your short story.  
Please feel free to send your comments to Larry at (
3)  A POETS NICHE WELCOME - MEMBERSHIP IS UP!!  Here's what new members 
are saying:
From SatinFrog on Jan 15, 1999 - Dear Monica, I found the Niche when a 
friend sent me there to do the "shares". . .when I saw the poets site I 
wanted to join. . . I am in NC in the mountains and also a chat host for 
AOL in a forum with metaphysical topics. . . I have received incredible 
feedback on the poetry and was warmed by the wonderful comments. . . 
everyone has been so nice and caring. . . I have answered every email I 
got with comments and have been able to read a few poems sent to me by 
the others. . . it is nice to be in such fine company.
From Neoma Konrad on Jan 27, 1999 - Well hello Moni, and thank you for 
the welcome. . .I'm from Chapel Hill North Carolina . . . I enjoy 
reading poetry but haven't got the hand for writing yet. . .I'm hoping I 
will get inspired by the people in here. . .I found out about this site 
through a friend of mine who sent me a poem that I loved and asked him 
where he got it from. . .he told me about the Poetic Niche and here I 
From Ghada El-Kurd on Jan 30, 1999 - Dear Moni, Thank you for your 
gracious compliments. . .I did contact several publishers, but they all 
had limits and requirements in regard to length. . . I do have other 
poems, and hope one day to publish my poetry in the form of a book, or a 
little book. . . I thought that by sending it out to the Poets Niche, I 
would at least get an honest review, since none of the publishers 
provied me with any, not even bad criticism! Honestly I needed to know 
how well (or bad) my poetry ranks. . . So far, it has been great and I 
am glad I joined. . . I think it is great to share ideas, and feelings 
with others. . . I am posistive now, about publishing my poetry, more 
than ever, thanks to the niche's feedback. . . And one more thing, I 
love the Poets Niche with all it has to offer, and I know it will help 
me grow both a personally, as well as the poet-in-me. 
From Eric Harrison on Feb 4, 1999 - Thank you MD, This is so real. I 
have all of you e-mailing me and welcoming me to this group.  I feel the 
From Belinda Perez on Fri, Feb 5, 1999 - Hi Blache. . .well this is the 
first time I ever joined something like this. . .I heard about this from 
a friend.  I'm from Texas. . .I don't know how any of this works (the 
poets niche) but I will get the hang of it soon. 
Walt and I want to THANK EVERYONE for spreading the word about the 
Poets Niche.  Because of YOU, we are one of the most popular websites on 
the internet.

4)  SMALL BUSINESS LOANS - Wells Fargo, the San Francisco-based bank, 
recently established a nationwide $1.0 billion loan program specifically 
targeting African American business owners. To qualify for funds ranging 
from $5,000 to $100,000 under the African American Loan Program, 
business owners must have been in a profitable enterprise for the 
previous 3 years; have a satisfactory personal and business credit 
record; have an established business and bank account; and not have 
declared bankruptcy within the past 10 years. In a further sign that 
Wells Fargo is walking the walk, the bank has linked up with another 
African American business, NetNoir Inc., to publicize the loan program 
in cyberspace. NetNoir Online (

Eddie Dixon, a depiction of the Middle Passage Monument is now available 
for viewing at the web site at ( The 
Homeward Bound Foundation (HBF) is asking the Black community to call 
upon our Black churches to support the Middle Passage Monument Project 
with an Inter-Denominational Offering Drive in honor of Black History 
Month.  They are asking everyone to contact their church and ask them to 
take up an offering on behalf of the Middle Passage Monument Project 
during any Sunday during the month of February or call the HBF at 
888/334-9229 or 202/333-0911 to make a donation.  In honor of Black 
History Month, the HBF will release its fund-raising CD, "If The Ocean 
Had A Voice," a melancholic tune which speaks to the tragic history of 
the enslavement of Africans between the 15th and 19th centuries, then 
concludes with a challenge to today's urban youth.  The CD is scheduled 
for release in late February.  The Homeward Bound Foundation, Inc., P.O. 
Box 25333, Washington, DC 20007, Phone: 1-888-334-9229, Fax: 202-362-7684 
or email:

6)  U. S. COMMERATIVE POSTAL STAMP PETITION - 20,000 signatures are 
needed for Patricia Roberts-Harris to have a commerative postal stamp.  
Mrs. Roberts-Harris was the first African American, female ambassador.  
For more details, as well as signing the petition, go to 
( and show your support. 

7)  ATTENTION POETS!  BlackWords, Inc., is publishing a collection of 
short, feel-good poems.  Send us your poems of love, of upliftment, and 
definitely, of humor. We want poems that make us smile in the morning, 
give us hope during the day, and open our hearts, at night.  This book 
is similar to the infamous "Chicken Soup for the Soul" Series, so choose 
your most inspiring and interesting poems. For submission guidelines go 
to: or email angela_boykin@ 
(Be sure to tell Kwame that moni sent you).

8)  JUST PASSING THIS ON from a friend of a friend - Brandon Massey, 
has written a novel "Thunderland," scheduled for publication this month.  
It's a suspense/ horror type book, kind of like Stephen King or Dean 
Koontz-with a big difference being that all of the main characters are 
African American, which you almost never see these days.  The book 
breaks some new important new ground.  Since Brandon doesn't have 
thousands of dollars to spend on advertising and promoting his book, 
some of his friends are spreading the word to ensure that this talented 
writer gets an audience. Brandon's website is (www.brandon

9)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - The queens are calling our estranged brothers 
from the distance to remind them of their emancipation.  But the line 
was busy because of my sista's party line madness. 
EMANCIPATED AGAIN by Katherine Smith -
estangement by Saleem Abdal-Khaaliq -
QUEENS by Karen Roberts -
SMILE MY SISTAS BY Demeterius "Flite" Smith -
WOW! is all I can say about this weeks featured poets. Check out their 
poems in POEMS WEEKS 24 at (  Please feel free to 
email your comments and support to the above poets.  

10)  During the first several months of each new year, my mind, body 
and soul are somewhat disconnected.  Therefore, the best part about 
being a member of this group is that someone has already written a poem 
that pretty much describes my feeling on any given day.  However, I 
didn't expect any poems to be written for me, such as bam's "in the 
midnight hour/for moni and all us blue Black folk"; or Padmore's "In God 
You Must Trust/for moni".  I'm grateful to have friends like you to help 
me every now and then when the dark clouds roll in.  Your words of 
wisdom is like an umbrella shielding me from the rain.  That being said, 
below is moni's poem of the week.  Your comments are always welcomed and 
greatly appreciated. 
much love
p.s.  Today is the DEADLINE to report to Pam the number of people in 
your party attending the OFFLINE PARTY.  And, remember to check the 
Poets Niche website for up-to-date information. 
Also, don't forget about the Valentine's Day Contest. The word 
"Valentine" or the phrase "Valentine's Day," must be included in your 
poem.  The top 10 winners will be next weeks featured poets. Please 
email ME ONLY your poem, as soon as possible. 
               MENAGERIE OF MISERY
  This time of year when yesterday is gone and the future 
  arrived on a slow boat from China, I wonder if confusion 
  and misunderstood are twin sisters.
  This time of year when words like "new" and "resolution" 
  trigger anxiety attacks, since I don't feel the need to 
  reinvent the wheel.
  This time of year my brain is filled with mush.
  This time of year I'm troubled by my urgent need to please 
  those who think my life should be the way they want to see 
  me in their eyes.
  This time of year I know rearranging the furniture doesn't 
  mean I won't bump into it or even change the view.  
  This time of year I want to rent a moving van to haul out 
  this all consuming sense of melancholy residing in my bones.
  This time of year I feel the essence of who I am is choreographed 
  by unforeseen events and I'm wearing the wrong pair of shoes. 
  This time of year I feel everyone else has memorized their lines, 
  while my lines are in Braille and my fingertips have lost all 
  sense of touch.
  This time of year I feel this has all been a dream and I want 
  to sever the umbilical cord holding me to the earth.
  This time of year I wonder if I'll ever clearly see my facade 
  behind the stained glass windows.
  Sometimes I wonder how far can I swallow the sword of discontent 
  without severing life sustaining organs. 
  Does misery really love company?  
  I pick up shards of broken glass from my menagerie of misery 
  In search of my dreams mingled in a hatful of wishes
  And hope to find the clarity I pray for on my knees.
  Monica D. Blache (c) 1999


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