issue #25 - moni's top 10 plus 1
March 29, 1999


                             "Evil men obey out of fear -- 
                                Good men out of love." 


1)  VIRUS ALERT - The Computer Emergency Response Team has is warning of a NEW 
EMAIL VIRUS. (see,4,34334,00.html).  This virus 
called is "MELISSA" is a macro virus propagates in the form of an email message 
contains an infected Word document as an attachment.  The transport message has 
most frequently been reported to contain the following subject header: 

                    Subject: IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM (name).  

It will not hurt your machine but will attempt to generate e-mail to the first 
50 people in your email address book.  The messages generated will contain links 


2)  OH DEAREST, IT'S ME -- moni!  There's no need to be afraid.  Okay James, 
it's your turn to be in the hot seat!  I'm not sure if folks are enjoying, or 
for that matter, reading these interviews, because I haven't received any comments.  
I guess this is a good thing because NO NEWS is better than BAD NEWS.  That being 
said, and now that the pressures off of ME and on YOU, let's begin:

moni:  You were born and raised in Canada.  What's your hometown, and what's so 
special about being raised there?  

James:  I was actually born a bit outside of the city, in Scarborough, but I 
live close enough to Toronto now to say that I live there.  I think the main 
thing that I like about living here is the vast diversity of cultures and 
nationalities.  Where else in the world can I go downtown and see every single 
nation on this earth co-existing together?  Growing from this experience is 

moni:  Most of us know you as James London.  However, is there a secret you'd 
like to share regarding your actual birth name?  (And no, it's not Elvis!) 

James:  (You will pay for this one Moni!!) birth name is Linval 
Hopeton London.  I'm just getting used to it myself to tell the truth.  I 
didn't know that was my actual name until about 1990.  I had always been 
called Jimmy or James, not just by my friends, but by my family too!  But 
I'm starting to use my actual name a bit more now.  A name is often an 
offshoot of your personality.  I'm just shooting for the stars.  

moni:  You just celebrated your 21st birthday in January of this year.  
How do you plan to celebrate your 22nd birthday in the Year 2000?

James:  Hmmm...well...I think I will plan a HUGE party with all my friends 
-- online and up here -- and just have a Holy Ghost Jam!!  Might as well 
show people my faith, and it helps that I can get everybody I know at one 
sitting!!  Big weight off of my shoulders!

moni:  When did you begin writing poetry, and what are some of your other 

James:  My other hobbies include collecting comic books, reading and 
listening to music.  I LOVE music.  A melody could just catch my heart, 
and I'm gone.  I have a passion for R&B love songs, but I also enjoy jazz, 
gospel and 60's/70's Soul.  I'm just a laid back type of guy, and my taste 
in music somewhat indicates that.

moni:  Many of your poems are about your love for God.  Is there's a direct 
link between your love for God and your poetry?

James:  Well, most of my poems are about LOVE.  And well, GOD IS LOVE!  So 
it sort of seems obvious that I write mostly about my search for love, or 
His love for me.  God has blessed me with a wonderful talent.  I just have 
to remember that if I don't use it for His glory, He could make it disappear 
just as quick.  

moni:  Most folks may not remember this, and our new members don't know, 
but you were the first, and ONLY, member to WIN the opportunity to write 
an inspiration and have it emailed with Walt's Friday Inspiration #50.  
Were you excited to win, and did that experience change your life?  

James:  Darn straight, and I was happy to win!!  It changed my life in the 
fact that I actually felt accepted at that point.  I felt as if I had reached 
that next level in my writing, and that things could only go up.  I thank the 
Niche for the opportunity, and Walt for letting me share his space. 

moni:  How did you come up with the idea to collaborate with two Poets Niche 
members, Taheba Bryd and Tasha Tavaras, and write two totally different poems?  

James:  Well, the one I wrote with Tasha actually started out as a bit of an 
old poem that I had lying around for some time. I never really intended on 
finishing it, but then I met Tasha.  We became friends, and we just vibed.  
I asked her if she would like to help me finish a poem.  She did, and we 
enjoyed making it up, growing from the process, and becoming even better 
friends.  The poem Taheba and I did, started out as an idea she had.  I was 
a bit apprehensive at first, but once I read her first section, I WAS HOOKED!
My only regret about that poem was that it could have been longer if I hadn't 
been distracted by the nuisance of finding employment. All in all, I was 
totally feeling the vibe from both of my poetic sisters.

moni:  Many of my friends assume that because I write poetry, I can create 
on "demand".  It's like because you have MD behind your name, all your friends 
want free medical advice.  I guess my question is, do your friends ask you to 
write poems for a special occasions, and you have to decline because you just 
can't create under those vibes? 

James:  Actually I don't have that problem.  I seem to have the gift of producing 
on command.  God, in blessing me with the gift of poetic writings, also gave me 
the gift of being an extremely emotional and sympathetic soul.  I am able to put 
myself into another person's shoes to the point where I no longer exist.  It's the 
PERSON who writes through me.  I don't mind being a tool if it spreads love.  It's 
all good!

moni:  A writer's life can be very solitary by nature.  How do you make the time 
to write and what gets your creative juices flowing?   

James:  I usually find myself writing at work, or at church during services 
(don't tell my pastor!). For some reason I find those places focus my energies 
into writing a lot.  As for what gets my juices flowing, anything really.  I 
could see a Raven fly across the sky, and I'll write something.  I could see 
a child running, and I'll write something.  It could any and everything, but 
it is all important.
moni:  Finally James, you are one of our original members.  Since we started
back in June 1998, how has the Poets Niche changed, and what do you envision 
for our future?  

James:  The biggest change is the membership.  It has ballooned so much in 
such a little time, it's hard to keep up.  This year I hope that we continue 
to grow, and to give up and coming poets the chance to gain some free advice, 
and to be accepted into a loving community.  I think that's all I got to say 
about that.

Please feel free to email Linval London, formerly known as James London, at 


3)  WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE MAGAZINE, "Building Excellence in Women Who Love God" -
W.O.E. Magazine is published four times a year by the Women of Excellence of 
Greater St. Stephen Ministries, in New Orleans, Louisiana.  These sisters are 
truly dedicated in uplifting, educating, and healing other women THROUGH THE 
POWER OF GOD'S WORD.  Because of their hard work (usually after working their 
"regular" jobs) and continued faith, their good deeds are finally being rewarded.  
Women from all over the country are sending letters to editor, thanking them 
for taking a leap of faith to publish this magazine.  

I was recently asked by the Associate Editor of W.O.E. Magazine, to assist in 
editing the upcoming issue, and time permitting, possibly future issues.  The 
editors are currently looking for short inspirational stories and/or poems for 
possible publication in upcoming issues.  If you are interested in being a 
contributing writer like Poets Niche member, Monique Fradieu (see moni's top 
10 archives, issue #22), please email me at (

The FIRST 20 EMAILS I receive in response to this request, will RECEIVE A 
"FREE" COPY of the Winter 1999 Anniversary Issue.  Please also feel free to 
email me if you would like further information on how to subscribe to W.O.E. 


4)  THE BLACKWORDS POETRY SLAM - SLAMMIN' will be hosted by Kwame Alexander, 
CEO, and Founder of Blackwords, Inc.,  and music by the internationally 
acclaimed, AyCE International.  This event will take place on Friday, April 
9, 1999, at 8:00 p.m. at Takoma Station 6914 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 
(202-829-1999).  To sign up for the slam, email Kwame at ( 
or be there at 6:30 pm.  The FIRST 50 PEOPLE GET A FREE JAZZ POETRY CD With 
Sonia Sanchez, wadud, E. Ethelbert Miller, Bassey &more.  Kwame is one of the 
most dynamic brothers I have ever met.  Not that you will receive any special 
treatment, but it won't hurt if you mention to Kwame that moni sent you.


5)  MARK YOUR CALENDARS - MSBET CHATS WITH THE POETS - Live chats with poets on 

a)  Thursday, April  8th at 9:00 p.m. - Kwame Alexander 
b)  Thursday, April 22nd at 9:00 p.m. - Nikki Giovanni 
c)  Thursday, April 29nd at 9:00 p.m. - Sonia Sanchez 


6)  ANTHOLOGY OF FICTION - "Living just enough, just enough for the city".  If 
you an urban dweller or raised in or near a major metropolitan area, you might 
be interested in this!  Pamela Brown, is compiling an anthology of fiction pieces 
that tell stories set in major US cities.  These stories can be romances, dramas, 
or comedies.  However, she should be able to tell that the story is a "city story."  
These stories should deal with the positive side of urban living.  There's enough 
with the bad news already.  Please be sure to tell Pamela what city your story is 
set in.  These should be short, short stories (only 3-4 pages in length), typed, 
double-spaced.  THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS NOVEMBER 1, 1999, and entries 
should be emailed to (  


7)  ERYN HEWITT UPDATE - On March 20th, Xavier University was the site for the 
Black History Festival, which was hosted by the New Orleans Branch of the National 
Association of University Women.  The theme "Our Heritage: A Legacy of Dignity," 
was the topic chosen for the poetry and creative writing contest.  The 5th grade 
winner was our own ERYN HEWITT.  Her mom, three brother, little sister and her 
teacher, Ms. Turner, were all in attendance to hear Eryn recite her poem "Slaves 
Forever".  Naturally, I was also there to join in all the excitement.  After Eryn 
and I walked around to shake off the jitters (really to calm my nerves more than 
Eryn's), and a last minute pep talk from mom, she was ready.  Eryn's performance 
was AWESOME! And YES, I CRIED!  After everyone performed, trophies were handed 


is conducting a study of close relationships.  Of interest are relationships of 
women and their spouses/partners, and women and their best or closest women 
friends.  The purpose of this study is to learn how employed women feel about 
each of these relationships and how these relationships contribute to their 
psychological health and life satisfaction. You are invited to participate if 
you are a heterosexual woman who: (1) is married or living with a partner, for 
at least 3 years; (2) is currently employed at least 25 hours per week; and 
(3) has a close or best friend who is a woman, whom you have known for at least 
one year.  If you choose to participate, you will have to complete a set of 
questionnaires, which will take approximately 30-45 minutes.  To participate, 
please mail her at: Denise Sender Vinograde, MA, Derner Institute of Advanced 
Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY 11530; (212) 873-2046 
or email at (  When the research project is completed, 
she will send you a summary of her findings, if you desire.  


poem to be critiqued on Wednesday: 

                    "The moment you caressed my essence..."  

Stay tune for bams' Middle of the Week Critique, and find out the name of the 
poet, and the rest of the poem! IT COULD BE YOU!!


a/k/a Ancient Tradition, has gone one better than James London (the only other 
member to collaborate with just TWO WOMEN!  Not only did Rose Ford collaborate 
with David, but she also JOINED FORCES with Padmore.  I guess you have figured 
out who this week's featured poets are: 

   YOU ARE MY LULLABY by David L. Weeks and L.K."Rose" Ford 
   VIBING WITH THE RISING SUN by David L. Weeks and Rose "BamBam" Cooper
   MIDNIGHT STORM by David L. Weeks and Carmelita M. Burgos
   SO LONG THE ROAD by L.K. "Rose" Ford and Padmore Agbemabiese 

Checkout POEMS OF THE WEEK 31 at (  Please feel free to 
send your love and support to your fellow poets!!!


11)  OH, TO BE 25 AGAIN! - What started out as Poems of Week, then birthday 
wishes, or celebrating the good news of our members, has now evolved into the 
25th issue of moni's top 10.  WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT!!  Putting together 
this weekly issue has been a labor of love.  My goal was simple -- build a 
community for members to share their creativity, and create an atmosphere of 
love and support.  Each email I receive or telephone conversation I have, 
brings me closer to you.  It has been through these candid and colorful 
communications, that I have been able to move the Poets Niche to the next 
level.  As a result, moni's top 10 has given birth to the following:  

1)  FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE, motivational insight by Shenita Vanish; 
2)  COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY, moderated by Rose (bams) Cooper; 
3)  POETS NICHE BOOKSHELF, selling our members' books on the internet; and 
4)  THE GREETING COMMITTEE, coordinated by David Weeks and Carmelita Burgos. 

of the week.  Your comments are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

much love!!!


	            THE CELLAR

The cellar is the keeper of my family's secret.  

He orders me to the cellar to muffle my mother's cries.  
He blames us for humanity's inequities.  He strikes us 
because we have nowhere else to go.  He loves us only 
after he's drained us of our energy. 

Someone should tell him we're not the enemy, but his 
family.  Someone should tell him that saying he's sorry 
is such a benign gesture.

Camouflaged by the discarded junk piled so high, the 
cellar shelters me from the evil living up there.  Once 
terrified of the sounds and creatures lurking underneath 
the stairs, the cellar is now my sanctuary from all the 

                   Monica Blache (c) 


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