Issue #39 - moni's top 10 E-ZINE  (minus 1) 
(The Poets Niche Official Weekly Newsletter)
Tuesday, July 6, 1999


        "There are things you'd love to hear that you would never hear 
             from the person whom you would like to hear them from.  
         So, don't be so deaf as not to hear it from the one who says 
                             it from his or her heart." 
                                  (unknown author)


This week's issue:

- HANDWRITING ON THE WALL (unknown author)
- VOYAGES WITH THE MADMAN (a poetic short story by rodneyc)
- moni's Poem of the Week


1)  HANDWRITING ON THE WALL (unknown author)

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son.
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

"While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again."

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
"Where is your little brother right now?"
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear--he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, "I love Mommy," surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall.

Pat, thanks for sharing this with us!


From the Informer -- ( "...check
out for another poetry posting board and publishing 
information.  It's a pretty cool site for talented writers.  Has a chat
page too.  Peace out, THE INFORMER."  Since Walt has denied being THE

From Chuck -- "I am really enjoying the Poets Niche.  It gives me an
outlet to express myself openly and this is a great encouraging
environment to do so."

FROM SHEVETTE -- "...I rarely share, but would like to change this and
the Poets Niche seems to be just the forum for me to explore my own
talents and be inspired by others.  I am looking forward to becoming part
of the family and hope to build lifelong ties with people that share my
same interests."

From Cephus -- "I wasn't receiving any poetry or weekly poet information
lately. moni, I thought I was out of the loop...You know I hate to miss
your weekly column."

Thanks Chuck, Shevette, Cephus and The Informer for sharing your thoughts
with me and spreading the news!  Your kindness is truly appreciated.


3)  MOST WANTED - The following POETS are considered ARMED WITH SLAMMING
WORDS AND DANGEROUSLY TALENTED: Akilah, Aqeela, BrianH, Eric, Gale,
Jerod, Logan, Reyhan, Sandi, SatinFrog, Sharyn, Sidney, Tasha, Tim,
Trend, Tyese and Volpe.  

If you see or hear from any of these poets, please report their
whereabouts to moni at the Poets Niche Precinct.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO
APPROACH THESE POETS without a video camera, tape recorder, pen, pencil
or paper, because they are LIABLE TO INCITE A POETRY SLAM!  

We pray that all of you are OKAY!!  


4)  VOYAGES WITH THE MADMAN: Series III, Part I by Dr. Rodney D. Coates -  

     Disparate thoughts of desperation fill my mind  as I stand lost on
the corner of walk and don't walk,  gazing at a full moon, listening to
down-home blues playing on the radio somewhere just over there.  What
should be a happy night of celebration is overshadowed by the reality of
my past, this tortured present,  and an unknown future.  Friends and
lovers have fallen along the side of a road covered with the corpses of
those seeking everything in a minute and finding nothing in a glass, 
pipe, a useless love affair of both yesterday and today.  Cries, insane
pleas, invoke silence from ears deadened by the drone of mediocrity and
complacency.  Homeless children begging for something to eat, whacked-out
crack heads, and slick corner johns  stalking those walking the streets
for highs. Ten cent whores playing school while another sits idly by and
complains about something that no one else cares about. Storms
threatening to  disrupt this uneasy calm, chilly winds engulf my body as
this lewd tapestry continues to be drawn just within the corners of my

     Walking, feeling the crisp cool air, starring up through maple
leaves turned golden by  autumn's sun at the blue-black, star-filled,
midnight sky.  Being captured by the smell of hickory burning in nearby
fireplaces, I hesitate still lost in formless thoughts.  There, barely
visible against the maple tree stood the Madman, silently meditating and
contemplating the timeless wonder of the moment. His voice, mingling with
the wind, the smoke and the midnight air, greeted my soul as it struggled
to grasp his essence and the meaning of it all.  Transfixed, his words
overtook my being.

     Abandoned by the strangeness of time
     quiet partners of solemnity.
     Orphaned hearts no place to be
     hopeless voyages into insanity.
     Refugees set adrift on the ocean of love
     searching for an oar.

     Storm strewn hearts wasting away
     empty words breaking against our souls.
     Feeble affection blows against the spirit sails
     jumbled feelings made painfully aware ---
     ---that no one cares.
     And the voyage toward nothingness continues.

     Slaves addicted to self-envy and egos
     watching each day pass in the mirror.
     Store bought beauty ravages the spirit
     this years' styles perfumed into being.
     Plastic images to cover a plastic image
     of what used to be a person.

     Fashion conscious bigots claiming the right
     to sit in judgment, you're not "in" tonight.
     Gotta go, gotta spend, gotta be the one
     that's seen on the scene of oblivion.
     Died, fried, another's hair in place
     powdered, caked, slapped on face.

     Frantic dancing in an ole back room
     filled with smoke, expensive cheap wine
     and garbled voices - everybody trying to score.
     Another lie, another alibi, another twisted dream
     of what should have been - a life.
     Slick Jack and Jill - trying to get a thrill
     And the voyage toward nothingness continues.

     Shipwrecked on the isle of nothingness,
     wanton spirits void of substance.
     Careless hearts strewn against dignity,
     love for sale, love for sale, love for sale.
     Sail on into the madness, sink on into the plastic.
     Search for self in the store windows,
     commercial relationships on discount today.

     Call the crowd on your cellular,
     beep the car just up ahead.
     Walk around in patented circles,
     choosing friends dressed by GQ.
     Minds by Mattel, bodies by Fischer,
     hearts filled with decay.

     Ignore that soul standing on the corner,
     homeless looking for some food.
     Silence that spirit calling out for reason,
     who has time for wisdom today.
     Kill that prophet with a new vision,
     hell is better off that way.

     And the voyage toward nothingness continues.

     There I stood, still in a glaze as he moved just in front of me and
in silence I understood  the unasked question "Would I now, join the
Madman in this voyage or would I stay in my own nothingness."  My words
taking the shape of my own question, died in my thought as he answered
with a glance.  "Nothingness comes from doing nothing, seeing nothing,
and being nothing.  Journey into the possibility of the impossibilities,
search for the sanity found in insanity, and for the wisdom that others
ignore as folly.  Seek to live the dreams found floating on our
children's playgrounds.  And here, the voyage must begin, will you come." 
Without hesitation, without even a bag or a good-bye, my voyage with the
Madman began.
	                    * TO BE CONTINUED *

series.  You don't want to miss a single word of this ongoing saga. 
Please feel free to send your comments directly to rodneyc at


5)  POETREE U SAY - Poet/Playwright Layding Kaliba (African Voices
Managing Editor) and actor/playwright Gregory Holtz have teamed up with
South African playwright, Duma Ndlovu, to create "Black Codes From The
Underground."  The play chronicles the night of six Death Row inmates who
find strength in recalling the glorious and tragic past of such
historical figures as Huey Newton, Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix and Nelson
"Black Codes" was sold-out each night it played at the National Black
Theater and it has been chosen as a Festival '99 feature for Lincoln
Center's Directors Lab Productions.  "Black Codes" is now playing in New
York at The McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2172 Broadway.  For ticket information
call (212) 501-3295, or Carolyn A. Butts at (212) 865-2982.


On September 3-5, 1999, the African American Online Writers Guild will
host its First Annual Midwest Poets & Writers Conference in Detroit,
Michigan.  The scheduled workshops are: Poetry Basics; Performance Poetry
Techniques; Building Believable Characters; Connecting With an Agent;
Developing Your Novel's Plot; Fiction Plot Development; Point of View and
You; Copyrights & Writer's Rights; Playwriting 101; Self-Publishing
(Pro's & con's); Writing for Children; Writing to Inspire - Becoming a
More Powerful Inspirational and Christian Writer; The Internet; Markets;
A panel discussion regarding success stories; and Agent Interviews.  

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES ($49) - For poetry, submit up to 10 pages, single or
double-spaced, and include your name, address and telephone on each page. 
For manuscript critiques, submit up to 20 double-spaced pages of
manuscript (fiction /essays).  Include name, address and telephone on
first page.  Title, name of author and page number on each succeeding
page.  The deadline for submitting material for critique is August 10,

Instructors and Facilitators will include authors, poets and publishers
such as Lee Meadows, Sheneska Jackson, Sharon Bennett, Jessica Care
Moore, Patrice Gaines, Dr. Rosie Milligan, Angela Patrick Wynn, Terry
Blackhawk, Rebecca Osaighovo, Adrienne Ingrum, Naomi Long Madgett, Elisa
Petrini, E. Lynn Harris and more.  Literary agents include Jacqueline
Turner Banks, John McGregor, Marlene K. Connor and Denise Stinson.  

Conference Fee: $100 BEFORE AUGUST 3, 1999; After August 3rd:  $125; The
fee includes Friday reception, free pass to All Star Poetry Jam,
Continental Breakfast on Saturday, Sunday's brunch and free access to the
Montreux Jazz Festival.  

For more information their webpage is (; and
( and for information about the
Montreux Jazz Festival. For registration form or more information, write
to P.O. Box 23100, Detroit MI 48223; email:, or call
313/897-2551, 248/552-0582; webpage:(



Poets Niche member, MONIQUE NICHOLE FRADIEU, has another by-line in the
Spring 1999 issue of W.O.E. Magazine.  Her article, "The Spirit of a
Virgin," deals with her personal commitment to God and the challenges she
faces as a virgin in today's society.  Monique gives us another candid
look into her life, her faith, and her choice to JUST SAY NO until she
exchanges wedding vows and jumps the broom with MR. RIGHT.  This is an
EXCELLENT article, and I am so very proud of Monique.  Please feel free
to share your views and comments directly with Monique at


LAJOYCE BROOKSHIRE, the author of the best-selling novel "Soul Food", was
in New Orleans to promote her latest novel, "Web of Deception".  Since I
believe that nothing in life is accidental nor coincidental, I attended
the book signing.  I managed to mingle (translation -- network) with
LaJoyce and two of her local executive producers from TeleZon
Entertainment Worldwide and Blazon BAMN Productions.  I dropped a few
hints about the Poets Niche (truth -- moni never leaves home without it 
- the Poets Niche Packet -- so I gave her a copy of our Mission
Statement, the Press Release for COME INTO OUR WHIRL, and several poems
from Poems of the Week, etc.).  

LaJoyce told me that "Web of Deception" was initially a three page
POEM!!!!  (I guess I should start writing the screenplay for my poem EASE
-- see Poems of the Week 16a).  Now to the part where accidents never
happen and things aren't really coincidental.  And, this may sound crazy
to some of you, but I always look for the "signs along the way" to make
sure I'm where I'm supposed to be, or on the right road.  Okay,
okay...There are a couple of things that LaJoyce and I have in common. 
First, her husband and my son both have the same name -- Gus. And second,
the main character in her book and one of the main characters in my 
*unfinished* novel, have the same name -- Celeste.  The best part is that
Celeste's undercover name is -- MONICA!!!  That might not mean anything
to many of you, but for those members who really know me, this is a
classic example of how God confirms His presence in my life.  (There's
more, but I'll share that later).  

I couldn't wait to get home so I could start reading my personally
autographed book.  Once you get your copy of "Web of Deception," I
guarantee you that you won't put it down until you have read every last
word (which took me two days).  Without giving away the plot, Celeste is
a reporter who uncovers a major scandal at the Chicago Board of
Education.  Did someone say SCANDAL?  Naturally, with any good scandal
comes suspense and romance!  "Web of Deception" is currently under pre
production, and I can't wait to see the movie!   



a)  Errors have been made.  Others will be blamed.
b)  Whisper my favorite words:  "I'll buy it for you."
c)  Suburbia: where they tear out the trees and then name streets after
d)  A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
e)  Not all men are annoying.  Some are dead. 
f)  I just want revenge.  Is that so wrong?
g)  Ambivalent?  Well, yes and not.
h)  Let me show you how the guards used to do it!
i)  I majored in liberal arts.  Will that be for here or to go?
j)  Chaos, panic, and disorder -- my work here is done!


8)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - It seems that David "Ancient Tradition" ain't the
only member collaborating behind my back.  Valentino, it's a good *thang*
I love you and LeNora (SMILING -- a hint to Ms. Devine's poem featured in
Poem of the Week 27).  Instead of getting mad, I'll just get even!!! HAHA
-- "I was hanging out in the room I built and took a moment to look out
the window.  The clouds played a symphony for the passionate blue skies,
as my sister sun kissed the morning dew."  This week's featured poets

KISS OF THE MORNING DEW by LeNora Devine and Christopher "Valentino" Hare
SISTER SUN by David L. Weeks and Rose "bams" Cooper
SYMPHONY by Dorothy Benner
PASSIONATE BLUE SKIES by Janice "Flower" Haskins
THE ROOM I BUILT by Shaun Cecil
HANGING OUT by Nicole V. McLean

These MUST READ poems can be found at ( in POEMS OF
THE WEEK 45!  Please feel free to send your love and support directly to
the featured poets.  Just so you know, I DID COLLABORATE with one of our
members.  This special collaboration is in COME INTO OUR WHIRL, and will
be read by us at the Offline Party!  Don't forget that we have set up a
special page for people to order and view the front and back covers of


9)  IT'S WHO YOU KNOW -- Let me say this that is MY PERSONAL COMMENTARY. 
We're all familiar with the saying, "It's who you know."  When it comes
to getting into the right school, getting the right job, tickets to a
sold-out concert, or that so-called big break into the "industry," we're
all taught that knowing the "right person" is the only way we can achieve
status and wealth.  It is MY BELIEF that "IF YOU KNOW GOD FIRST, EVERYONE
Cephus, I hate to disappoint you, but don't forget I'll be on vacation
(which I'm technically on now) from July 5th through July 14th.  Sooo,
there will be NO moni's top 10 next Monday, July 12th.  Below is moni's
Poem of the Week.  Your comments are always welcomed and most



So many times you were right, though my ego said to fight.  

Keeping things bottled up was just my way, because I simply 
didnít know what to say.  

Life's distractions and my senseless reactions.  

Knowing you were part of my tomorrow helped with the 
bittersweet sorrow.  

So before time slips away, please listen to what I pray:

      Know that I am here in the still of the night, 
      holding you tight with all my might.  Yes, I 
      am your friend to the very end.  I just thought 
      you should know, I'll never let you go.
From time to time circumstances may keep us apart, 
but your love is safe within my heart. 

Though there were lots of tears in those early years, 
all your pain was not in vain.  

I am glad to see that you are still here, because now 
we can face our deepest fears.  

So before time slips away and I run out of words to say: 

      Know that I am here in the still of the night, 
      holding you tight with all my might.  Yes, I 
      am your friend to the very end.  I just thought 
      you should know, I'll never let you go.

              Monica Blache (c) 

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