issue #23 - moni's top 10 minus 1
March 15, 1998

                 *While the devil creates illusions of happiness,
                  God will reveal the signs for everlasting peace.*
                                   moni (c) 1999


are currently being drafted to send out to the media regarding our Offline Party 
and the Official Book Signing of the Poets Niche First Anthology, COME INTO OUR 
AUGUST 5-8, 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Our Official Party Planner, Pam Barnes, 
has worked tirelessly to coordinate this event, and appreciate her hard work and 
efforts.  BECAUSE TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE to finalize activities with the tour 
group, the hotel and restaurant, I ask that you contact Pam IMMEDIATELY at 
( if you want to included in the fun.

We are planning several workshops and will keep you posted on these activities.  
As a participant, if you have other items you would like to display or share with 
other members - e.g., other books you have written, artwork, etc. - please let me 



2)  FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE - motivational insight by Shenita Vanish 
( issue no. 3:

After thousands of dollars in debt, I finally learned the importance of
honoring myself.

It wasn't unusual for my telephone to ring early in the morning. 'My man' 
often called me after he got to work but before I left for work. But on 
that day it was different.  First, and noticeably different, was the fact
that the telephone call was placed as a collect call although it was made
from a local pay phone.

Immediately, I knew something was wrong. I guess I was 'in tune' with 
him.  Maybe it was the tone of his voice that sounded like defeat when 
he called me that day.  Maybe it was because he never asked me for money 
before and always promised that he never would.  Maybe it was because I 
wanted so desperately to be a part of his life.  Maybe we were both 
desperate for each other, but in different ways.

He started with, "You told me that if I ever needed anything, I could 
come to you."

"Yeah," I thought to myself, "I did say that."  In retrospect, I thought 
that this was the opportunity that I was looking for to be an integral 
part of his life.  I knew that I often felt like an outsider looking in.

"Well...," he continued.  The rest is a blur.

It's ironic how very calm I must have been that day when he asked me for 
thousands of dollars.  I now wonder why I didn't laugh, convinced that it 
must have been a joke.  I wonder why I contemplated it and eventually 
yielded to it.  Where was my head?

In retrospect, I wonder why I loaned "My man" money that I would never loan 
myself.  I wonder why I gave this Brother money when I needed a car and his 
was 'brand spanking new'.  He and I both knew that I couldn't turn a corner 
too fast in my car because my driver's side door would shift.

By giving him that amount of money, I now believe that I was interfering 
with a life's lesson that God wanted to teach him.  But, heaven knows I 
sure learned the lesson that God wanted to teach me.  Love doesn't ask 
you to sacrifice yourself.  Love sets boundaries and respects them. Love 
fulfills commitments, whether established with a written or oral contract.

Now, over a year later, a court case in Superior Court, and a new sense 
of pride, I prepare for our court case.  I've tried to settle this between 
the two of us.  Why must we go before a body of strangers to settle a 
"domestic" dispute: Brothers against Sisters against Brothers? I never 
thought that I would be here.  Am I wrong for seeking reparations?  I 
often wonder.

His response to my three-page, typed, single space motion was handwritten.  
It says, "[my name] is a liar who always seemed to need money.  Everything 
she stated is false. (Almost Everything)."  

Now...what do I do when I am out of money and the biggest question that the 
court might ask me is "Now, tell us again, why were you involved with him."

I was involved with him because of low self-esteem.  A yearning to be loved.  
A desire to be appreciated.  A need to rectify our previous relationship 
that ended years before on turbulent times.  I thought that this was my 
opportunity to correct a 'pass wrong'.

Today, I thank God for the lesson that I have learned.  I thank God for 
sending me a situation that literally brought me to my knees and caused 
me to call on Him.  My exact words were "God, help me PLEASE".  I thank 
God for showing me the power of those words.  I thank God for waking 
me up and getting my attention.  I thank God for his infinite wisdom 
that tells me that no matter how this case is settled, I'm still a winner.  
I thank God for sending "my ex-man" to teach me a lesson that I graciously 
learned.  And, lastly, I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to
share my experience.

Be blessed!


3)  PROPOSED INCREASE IN COPYRIGHT FEES - While researching information to 
copyright her poetry, Nicole McLean discovered that the US Copyright Office 
has proposed an increase to copyright materials from $20.00 to $30.00.  She 
believes if this proposal is adopted, the new fee arrangement would go into 
effect in July.  Nicole, thanks for forwarding this information to us so 
others can benefit from your knowledge.


4)  ENCARTA AFRICANA - Henry Louis Gates Jr., along with Kwame Anthony Appiah of 
Harvard University, believe they have fulfilled W.E.B. Du Bois' dream of creating 
a comprehensive encyclopedia of the "entire black world."  Mr. Gates has been 
hitting the media circuit and has taken harsh criticism for this project.  
However, you can sample it for yourself by viewing a portion of the contents at 


5)  Y2K SCAM EMAIL ALERT/BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY - I'm not sure if this is 
actually true or not, but this email was forwarded to me. 

"I got a call from a man this weekend telling me he represented my bank and that 
they were having difficulty meeting requirements to be computer ready for Y2K. He 
said all bank customers would need to transfer their accounts to a bond account 
specially designed to protect our money until the bank could fully comply with 
Y2K requirements. He then said to verify that he was talking to the proper account 
person I needed to confirm information about myself, my account numbers and then 
give verbal authorization to transfer funds to this specially designed account.
I don't trust folks who do this kind of thing so I asked him which of the banks 
I use did he represent. He was not able to do that and hung up at that point. 
Please pass this information to friends or family because this is a huge scam 
that is going on all across the country. Some people would be scared to think 
they would loose all their money (which he said was sure to happen if I didn't 
do this now) and would supply the information without first checking this out. 
I notified the phone company of the call - since I have caller ID, I could give 
them a number but the identifier just said "out of area". It came from a 248 
area code which is around Detroit.  Anyway, just passing this along so you'd be 
aware and beware."


6)  ESSENCE MAGAZINE - In case you didn't receive this email, I thought I would 
post it again:  

Our office was contacted this week by a writer from Essence Magazine. She is 
working on a story about Black women in business and specifically about those 
involved in corporate partnerships, strategic alliances or joint ventures. 
She asked if any of our members had this type of business arrangement. 

If you know someone who fits this category and would like to be considered 
for the story, have them contact our office at (202) 371-1000 or by email 
at ( Please have them respond right away. This 
is an opportunity that won't last long.
Lee Green
Executive Director
(NBBTA) National Black Business Trade Association


bams will send an email called "bams Middle of the Week Relief Critique".  
This email will notify you of the SELECTED POEM to be critiqued.  Your 
comments must be POSTED DIRECTLY on the Peanut Gallery page at 
( and will be shared with 
the group in moni's top 10.  

LAST WEEKS POEM:	 to reach out, blindly, over the distance
POET:		         bams

Submitted by Ghada - I can't read this page properly...the print is too close 
to the windows left for the poem, I have to read it first!

Submitted by Valentino - It was a little hard to follow.  Each of the "paragraphs" 
are almost individual ideas but written as though they connect with one another 
via grammar or sentence structure. The poem seems to be the thoughts of a person 
experiencing fear and unsure of herself.  This makes the context of the poem 
instinctive and hyperactive thoughts rather than a picture of words.

Thanks bams for being the first sacrificial poet and getting things started.  
Up next is a poem from moni, "Ease".  


8)  This weeks FEATURED POETS are: 

DON'T by Dorothy Benner -
WRINKLES IN TIME by Sandra Bushell -
FIRST SNOW by Gale Kenton Collins -

Please support your fellow poets and read their poems in POEMS OF THE WEEK 29 at 


9)  I CAN NEVER SAY THANK YOU ENOUGH - Some members have asked me if I'm really 
as nice as I "seem" in my email responses and/or telephone conversations. Most 
times I'm taken aback by the question because I don't quite know how to respond. 
For months, I struggled with whether I should even answer this question.  After 
some honest soul-searching, the truth of the matter is, YES, 99.9% of the time 
I am a "genuinely" nice person.  However, depending on the situation, the fact 
that I am direct and straightforward is sometimes confused with me not being 
quite so nice, only 1% of the time. (HA!)

Several of you have also asked me if I have a title.  If you look at the bottom 
of the our Mission Statement, Moni Blache is the Really "Nice" Person at the 
Poets Niche Who Keeps Things Running Smoothly.  I truly believe that everyone is 
searching for love, honor and respect.  Therefore, if I love, honor and respect 
my fellow members, IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME.  NICE = NICE!!  

Being a part of the Poets Niche has been a labor of love. THANKS FOR TRUSTING 
ME enough to live up to any upcoming challenges we may face ahead, and APPRECIATING 

Below is moni's poem of the week.  I appreciate your comments and value your 

Peace and Blessings



I don't mean to keep you up all night, but worry is all I have. 
I know I'm alive because I feel your confusion.   

Don't cry.  You're not alone.  I'm in here.  Don't be afraid 
to touch me, or see your body grow.  I hear my heart beating 
and see my tiny fingers.  If you wait one more day there may 
be another way.

What about him?  Where is he?  Does he have a say?  They said 
you made love, and then I was.  What kind of love makes a choice 
like this?  

"That will be one hundred fifty dollars," I heard a lady say 
to you.  The clinicalness of it all.  "You'll feel a little
pressure, then it will be all over," another conspirator said.

Don't be deceived into thinking it will be all over in just a 
matter of minutes.  From this day forward, everything in your 
life will feel incomplete.  Unexplained bouts of depression,
nervous breakdowns.

And although my physical-self was discarded with the day's 
trash, it's my phantom cries haunting you after all these 
years.  It's my tiny fingers you missed kissing.  It's my 
eyes looking back at you in every newborn you see.  

How do you go on with your life as if this never happened?  
How can you look in the mirror and not wonder what happened 
to me?  How can you look at the one you kept and not wonder 
about the one you didn't?  How dare speak of God, truth,
human rights, or pro-choice, when I was the embodiment of 
all those things.

What will they call me in heaven, where the innocent, unwanted, 
inconvenient, unplanned go?  You see, your choice may have 
silenced my human voice, but not knowing where I am, forever 
keeps me among the living.

                     Monica Blache (c) 


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