issue #28 - moni's top 10 minus 6
April 19, 1999


                     FORGIVE FROM YOUR HEART

               Wrath and anger are hateful things, 
                 yet the sinner hugs them tight.
          The vengeful will suffer the Lord's vengeance,
              for God remembers their sins in detail.
                Forgive your neighbor's injustices;
       thus when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
                          Sirach 27:30-31


IDEA to make ME the "SUBJECT of a top ten interview....!! (Love ya,
sweetie!)," is just another attempt by Walt to find out the combination
numbers to the safe (which I'm really not telling him now). Also, I
forwarded all of your questions to my attorney for his review.
DEFINITELY INCRIMINATE ME." Finally, to conclude my opening
statement, for those of you who think I'm just a TEASE, if you delete the
"T" you may find out who the real "E..." is!
Below are the questions that I am ALLOWED to answer at this time so you
better have your videotapes taping and/or tape recorders recording.
THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME (I'm gonna get you Walt)!
Marilyn: Where are you from?
moni: I was born and raised in New Orleans -- the home of the best
seafood and soul food in the world. The only other reason I call this
home is because every year the City THROWS ME A BIG PARTY!! Folks
come from all over the country to celebrate the fact that I'm still
here, and they call it MARDI GRAS!
Walt/Marilyn: Do you have children? Moni, do you have any kids? Do
you own a pet?
moni: I'm the proud single parent of a baby boy. This year, my filing
BUT MY CHOCOLATE CHIPS!!). The truth is, Gus is the apple of my eye.
He is just two weeks shy of completing his first year of graduate school
in New York. Gus is a talented artist and painter. Remember his
name, Gustave Blache III, because this young man will make his "mama"
very proud! Check out the front page of the Savannah Morning News for
a sample of his work! (
Marilyn: What's your favorite color?
moni: Is chocolate a color? If not, then peach is my favorite color. Marilyn: What are some of your hobbies example?
moni: Four years ago, I was an avid jogger. However, being in the
Witness Protection Program (truth - since I turned 40, I'm too damn lazy to run) so I picked another hobby -- eating. I love to listen to all kinds of music (except gangsta rap and punk rock). I enjoy crying during "chick" movies, talking on the telephone, reading, as well as solving problems facing our nation with Bill (I mean the President).
Marilyn: How many places/countries/states have you visited, and what place did you like the best?
moni: When "we" (my two brothers and two sisters) were growing up, my parents wanted us to "see the world". So every summer we packed up the station wagon, traveled all over the country, and went to every WORLD'S FAIR including Montreal. As far as which place I liked the best, it's a toss up. My son lived in Savannah, Georgia for four years and I fell in love with the city (probably because it reminded me of New Orleans, but without the craziness). But, late last year I took a trip to a secluded location, which changed my life. This was the only time in my life that I was not interrupted br>or had to rush to do anything. I took full advantage of the lazy atmosphere and drank up the "no problem" Jamaican attitude (although I wasn't in Jamaica).
Linval: What got you started writing? What was the defining moment in your writing birth? (the catalyst if you will....yes I can use big words!).
moni: I would have to say that the defining moment which jump-started my so-called writing career was when I was five or six. Even at five or six, I didn't like rules or regulations. So whenever I disagreed with one of my "mother's" rules (I'm was and still am, daddy's lil girl) I would tell my mom that "she wasn't the boss of me." Always a step ahead, my mom told me it was okay for me to be mad at her because she wasn't running a popularity contest. But, if there was anything I wanted to "share with her," I could do so in a "mad letter." (See WHO THE HECK IS MONI for more details). My first "mad letter" said, "Mama, I'm mad with you. Love moni." My mom and I still laugh about that letter today! Suffice it to say that this was my first of many complaint letters.
Queen: Does your job realize that you receive a lot of emails at work?
moni: I'm sure I'm being monitored. But because of technology a/k/a Walt, my emails are routed to several different email addresses. Therefore, I can appreciate it when members complain about receiving toooo many emails. However, if they had a clue about the "volume" of emails I receive daily, they wouldn't complain anymore.
Queen: I've never heard anyone say a bad thing about you. How is it that you are able to share love with so many people?
moni: I "love" attention (oh that slipped out). I meant to say, Monica means -- mother, nurse or caregiver -- which explains my nice side. Most times I'm quite "NICE" because I always expect to be treated in the same fashion. Besides, they don't call me "St. Monica" for nothing. I'm sure you heard Bill saying his prayers to St. Monica. And although I wasn't formally enlisted in the Navy, ever now and then, my ability to "Cuss like a sailor," periodically comes in handy. My motto is "IF YOU CREATE THE DRAMA, I WILL CERTAINLY WIN AN ACADEMY AWARD, and ACT LIKE A FOOL!
Queen: When and how did you become a lover of literary form of expression?
moni: My father was a teacher and he always brought books home for us to keep. Needless to say, we owned a wall-to-wall library. I catalogued every book we owned and became the family/neighborhood "librarian". If anyone wanted a book they had to officially checkout the book and return the book within a two weeks or be fined (most fines were paid in candy or cookies, until I was 10, then it was a dime so I could buy my own candy). I loved the smell of new and old books. At night, I used to sit in the closet and read books by flashlight.
Queen and Craig: moni, you have a powerful writing style. What is your inspiration for your poetry? Could it be a result of your life experiences or does it just come naturally? Where does the subject from your writings come from? Are they personal experiences, experiences of friends and family? Or are they from your fantasy?
moni: Thanks for thinking that I have a "powerful" writing style. The truth of the matter is that most of my poems are written because I'm distracted by a thought or a word, which begs for my attention. So it's quite obvious that I have notebooks filled with thoughts or insignificant words. It's when these thoughts and insignificant words are put together does it make sense as to why they were in my head in the first place. An example, is the poem "Pieces of Forgotten Quiet". (see issue #21 of moni's top 10). The line "i forgot that there was space between yes and no," came first, which didn't mean anything to me at the time. But when the line, "his sweaty hands anchored my cries down, as the sound fell to the ground," came several weeks later, did the poem take shape.
On the other hand, many of my ideas come from casual conversations with family and friends, listening to music, listening to National Public Radio, looking at the news, or something as simple as finding a ticket stub in my coat pocket or hearing keys open a door. (see Poems of the Week 16A -- 5 Days Remembered and Threshold).
David: I know that you have been real busy with the Poets Niche and working on our first anthology. But do you still find or make time to write poetry and short stories?
moni: The short answer is YES and NO! Because I have to work to support my hobby -- eating and writing, finding the time to write is a bit tricky. I literally have to steal time to write in between working and hosting the Poets Niche. However, some of my best writing is done while I'm sleeping. (I usually only get about 3 or 4 hours of sleep a day).
Stay tune for the conclusion of MONI'S INTERVIEW IN NEXT WEEK'S TOP 10! ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO STALL FOR TIME so I can catch up on my sleep! ========================================================================= 2) SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT - This was emailed to me by Suli, which I thought you would enjoy - YOUR LIFE'S PARTNER Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother had spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "No Admittance." When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.
That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful. Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Remember that God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. And He'll always be there to love and guide you on to great things. AUTHOR UNKNOWN Thanks Suli!!! ========================================================================= 3) Although I'll miss you when we part, our reunion will be sweet because there'll be no more tears of pain. Just something I put together from the titles of this week's Poems of the Week. This week's featured poets are: WILL HE??? by Sandra Bushell - REUNION by Susan "Suli" Harrigan - CLASS REUNION by Dorothy Benner - A MISSING NEED by Shawn A. Goins - WE PART by Ghada El Kurd - TEARS OF PAIN by Letrisee Nycole Lawson - Check out Poems of the Week 34 at ( Please feel free to send your comments and support directly to the featured poets! WAY TO GO POETS!!! ========================================================================= 4) Below is moni's poem of the week. Your feedback and comments are always welcomed! much love moni p.s. Please remember, the Poets Niche does not endorse any of the products or websites mentioned in moni's top 10. This information in provided for informational basis and/or entertainment purposes only. Therefore, it is your responsibility to thoroughly investigate these websites before using or purchasing any of their products. ========================================================================= VOICE FROM THE PAST (for Andrew) I called, unsure of why. His voice was the kind that rekindled old memories; the kind of voice where old friends resume conversations of years gone by. We didn't know one another well enough to have a past. But what connected us was that of a nickname, Maudica, she called me when I was a teen. It was through this pleasant exchange, the answer to why I called was revealed. He asked me to teach him about the grandmother he never really knew as a child, but yearned to know as a man. He asked me to tell him about Louise because we both had different stories and quite different memories of her. I wanted him to know the woman who showered me with love. I wanted him to feel all the hugs she gave me to comfort my adolescent anxieties. When you crossed the threshold of her humble abode, her smile welcomed you. Her home was decorated with an eclectic array of photos of the past. Each picture was like a snapshot of her life, a retrospective of who she was. Each picture had a personal story and she fondly reminiscenced when she shared those cherished memories. Yet, her life was one of many contradictions. A strong disciplinarian to some, but gentle soul to others. A woman with a body like a mountain, but one who would give you anything brick-by-brick. A woman with words like stone, but one with the wisdom of a prophet. A woman with eyes of steel, but heart of gold. A woman who didn't just save for a rainy day, but one who prepared for life's downpour of disappointments and heartaches. A woman whose faith in God was unwavering. Once, she told me, "Satan can't be busy if you ain't wearing his watch." A woman whose wrinkled face was the tapestry of generations before and generations after. A woman with the talent of a griot, who handed down treasured secrets to her children so the past would never be forgotten. A woman whose voice erupted like a volcano, but fragile body finally gave in and welcomed peace. A woman who believed in family until her last breath. I was the lucky one to have known Louise for twenty-five years. Now, I know why I called him. It was to tell him that the voice from the past wanted him to know that she loved him just the way he was. And, that the sunlight they once shared together will be theirs for eternity. Monica D. Blache (c)
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