To: Poets Niche

Issue #44 - moni's top 10 E-ZINE
(The Poets Niche Official Weekly Newsletter)
Tuesday, September 7, 1999


                       A man who makes no time to enjoy life
                                 is already died.
                                  moni (c) 1999


This week's issue:



1)  HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- If you were born between August 23rd and September
22nd, then you must be a VIRGO!@!@!@!  Someone you know (look for the
clue ***) is celebrating her birthday someti*me* between September 7th
and *22nd*.

OUR SYMBOL - The Virgin is often shown holding an ear of grain, alluding
to the harvest of late summer.  We understand the harvest of hard work
and organizing methods of operation.  We love order and harmony.  And
although we function on a cerebral level, because we're an earth sign,
our mental approach is pragmatic because we want to see RESULTS.  Our
keyword is DISCRIMINATION, because we use it to resolve various conflicts
we're faced with on a daily basis.  Our process of judging situations
and/or decision-making involves analyzing everything down to the last
detail before taking action.  We can be fault-finding, playfully
sarcastic, helpful, and generous with advice.  Our need for privacy tends
to make us somewhat of a loner.

PLEASE JOIN *ME* in wishing David Weeks, Craig Gill and any other FELLOW


2)  COME INTO OUR WHIRL REVIEWS - Who would have thought that just one month ago
[August 5-8], we were in Atlanta celebrating our first book signing and Offline
Party.  Here's a peek at what some of the featured poets said after they
received their copy of COME INTO OUR WHIRL:


FROM PADMORE - I received my book and showed the book to some students,
professors and graduate students.  They have decided to join the group and
participate in our program.

FROM PHAEDRA - I love the really is great.  You both did a wonderful
job on it.  I am happy that I could be a part of this dad [Saleem]
filled me in on all the good things that you all did in Atlanta.

FROM TAHEBA - I LOVE the book.  I already have 3 orders from last night and I
have about 50 other friends that I am going to send an email to telling them
about OUR (smile) book.

FROM RENEE - The book is out of sight...can't wait to take it with me on my
trip.  Tell Walt that I said much thanks for expediting.

FROM VALENTINO - I wanted to tell you how high my spirit is flying since I saw
my writings in book form.  I am truly honored to be a representative for the
Poets Niche and I am speechless at seeing my work in print.  This is the third
book my poems have been featured in, but this is the first time I have seen it.
I would like to express my deepest heart felt appreciation for allowing me this
opportunity to showcase my "hobby" (for lack of a more modest term).  Thanks for
being my light down the path of enlightenment.

As you know, we are continuing our WHIRL TOUR across the United States and
aboard!!!  Our scheduled tour dates and locations are as follows:

Date/Time                       City             Location

Saturday, October 2, 1999     New York, NY   Laugh Is Hope Comedy Club
6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.                         Midtown Manhattan     
                                             East 39th &Park Ave
                                             New York, NY

Saturday, November 20, 1999  New Orleans, LA   Afro-American Book Stop
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.                         Lake Forest Plaza
                                               5700 Read Blvd. #275
                                               New Orleans, LA

*Pending arrangements   Great Barrington, MA   New location TBA
[last week of October]

If you live in or near these cities and YOU want to participate in our WHIRL
TOUR, please contact us so we can add your name to the list of performers.  If
you want to host your own book signing, please make sure to read an upcoming


3)  GROUP WARS - Y'all know I'm not the kind of person to spread rumors, but I
couldn't keep this a secret any longer.  Typically, WHISTLE BLOWERS receive some
type of monetary reward for this kind of information, but because I'm a Good
Samaritan, I'll tell you what I know for FREE.  For months, the members from
GROUP 6 have been burning the NICHE-LINE with their slap-yo-mama, get out of my
head cuz I'm feeling ya, Lawd if You only knew, slam dunk kinda poetree.  [Dang
gurl, spit it out, stop wasting my time and say whatcha gotta say].  Okay,
okay...So what's happening with the members in all the OTHER GROUPS?  Well,
things have been VIRTUALLY QUIET [except for our usual over-achievers -- and you
know who you are].  That sounds like a CHALLENGE to me, but I'm not the kind of
person to start any TROUBLE.

I asked a Gallup poll representative to survey these groups to find out WHUZ
UP!?!? These statistics will surprise you.  Therefore, I thought it was best
that you hear it from me rather than read about in Terry Whack-Millan's upcoming
Greased-ham's soon to be released movie, "THE FIRM BLOWS DA WHISTLE."  These are
the top 5 answers submitted by members to the question, "WHAT HAPPENED TO ME ON

    5.  I was on my way to the computer when [I remembered I forgot] how to turn
it on;

    4.  I was on my way to the computer when I suffered an attack of writer's

    3.  I was on my way to the computer when my dog came from out nowhere and
ate my poem;

    2.  I was on my way to the computer when I remembered that my psychic told
me not to submit a poem until the moon was full with sonnets; and . . .

    1.  I was on my way to the computer, when I remembered, I don't own a

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
So how can the other groups find their way back to the YELLOW BRICK ROAD to buy
a poem from the WIZARD OF OZ?  According to the OZ, all you have to do is "BRING
'N DA NOIZE, BRING 'N DA FUNK, and don't let GROUP 6 be the only group to


4)  POETS NICHE TOP 10 MOST WANTED - If you see or hear from these poets --

** Tracy Evans, Monique Fradieu, Susan "Suli" Harrigan, Eddie Herrera, Cole
Johnson, Kevin Newsome, Logan Sky, Trend Truesdale, Reyhan Wilkinson and Tamshi
Williams **

-- PLEASE tell THEM that WE hope that they're working on their respective --
MOVIE/CD soundtrack combination."  But more importantly, we hope "EVERYTHING is
EVERYTHING," and don't forget to PHONE HOME because WE'RE MISSING YOU!


5)  NO MORE ROOLES PLEEZZ - Just in case some of you have forgotten, PLEASE
re-read the SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (, paying particular
attention to guidelines 7, 10, 11, and new guidelines 13 and 14:

      13.  Due to limited space, please do not submit poems in ALL CAPS.  Poems
submitted in ALL CAPS will not be featured in POEMS OF THE WEEK unless you
reformat your poem(s) and resubmitted it to ME ONLY at (

      14.  If you have read a particular poem by a featured poet in Poems of the
Week and you'd like to be included on their CC list (carbon copy list) to
receive all the poems that they submit, please email that member directly and
request that he/she add you to their CC mailing list.  [For example, you've read
my poem in Poems of the Week 22, email me directly by clicking on the email
address next to my signature at the bottom of the poem, and ask that I add you
to my CC mailing list].

Please feel free to email me at ( if you have any questions
and/or suggestions.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!


6)  POETREE U SAY -- If you're in the Atlanta area on Thursday, September 9th,
you don't want to miss this performance: D O N N I E &DJ Michael Alan vibe at
Club Mekka, 511 Peachtree Rd., Midtown Atlanta.  For more information call (404)
874-5507.  [Just so you know, Donnie's Producer was at our book signing in
Atlanta and hooked me up with this soulful brother's CD -- 1st Impression!!!]
Make sure you tell James that moni sent you!!!

On Thursday, September 9th in Alexandria, VA, please join Omar Tyree, Tonya
Matthews, and others, for an Evening of African American Writers (hosted by
Kwame Alexander) at the Alexandria Black History Resource Center, located at 638
N. Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA.  These writers will be reading and signing
their work(s) from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  Also get valuable information on
publishing your book.  Free and open to the public.

On Friday, September 10th at 7:30 p.m., JAZZ POETRY KAFE AT TAKOMA STATION,
located at 6914 4th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., will host a Special Evening of
Black Women &Poetry, featuring Patricia Johnson, Tonya "JaHipster" Matthews,
Toni Asante Lightfoot, Angela Boykin, and Carolyn Joyner.  There will also be an
Open Mic, [Sistas ONLY this time].  For more details, please visit

Sony Music Corporate Affairs has just announced it Spoken Word Contest.  The
contest is open to full-time college students only. The 1st prize is a $2,500
scholarship.  Only one entry per person will be permitted and submissions can be
no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 7 minutes in normal reading length.
Pieces may be submitted on paper, typed, single-spaced in a readable font no
smaller  than 12-point, e-mailed, on video or audio tape.  Make sure video and
audio tapes are cued and clearly labeled. Labels should include name, address,
phone number, school, year of graduation and running time.  All submissions must
be postmarked or e-mailed no later than 6:00p.m. (EST) Friday, October 22, 1999.
Send all entries to: Spoken Word Contest, Sony Music, 550 Madison Avenue, Suite
533, New York, NY 10022 or e-mail to (

Juniper Prize: $1,000 and publication for a book of poetry by a poet who has not
previously published a book of poetry.  Submit a ms. of 50 to 70 pages with a
$10 entry fee.  Write or call for guidelines: University of Massachusetts Press,
Juniper Prize, Amherst, MA 01003; (413) 545-2217.  Deadline: September 30th.

May Swenson Poetry Award: $1,000 and publication for a collection of poetry.
Entrants receive copy of winning book. Submit a ms. of 50 to 100 pages with a
$20 reading fee.  For guidelines visit their website at (
or send an SASE to Utah State University Press, May Swenson Poetry Award, Logan,
UT 84322-7800; (435) 797-1362.  Deadline: September 30th.



                       A Child's Story: Remembering Grandfather
                                 by /bams (c) 1999

[Sat, 24 May 1997]

My sister called me last night to tell me that my father's stepfather, my
Grandfather Wolfe, passed away; and the floodgates of my 14th summer opened up,
washing memories of times past, over me...

That summer was one I'd never forget; The Year I Lost My Mind.  I was going
through a bunch of stuff, stemming from a wack childhood, a longing to be with
my daddy, the fact that Nobody Understood Me, much less cared about me, and all
the other assorted angst that 14-year-olds go through.  I hadn't yet learned to
not be so literal--I was always falling for okey doke stuff that folks told me,
like when my mama told me I could get pregnant over the phone (to this day, I
don't like to use the phone)--so my angst was only amplified by others' deceit.
And lord knows there was plenty enough deceit to go around.

I reached my breaking point when, in my anxiousness to fit in with those who
would keep me at arm's length (not the least of which were my sisters), I got
caught up with some no good folks at a party one of my older sisters was having
at her house.  Not being the social type, I was horribly uncomfortable as it
was; but trying not to stick out in the crowd, I feebly complied when a bottle
was passed around, and wound up getting sick from the alcohol.  Next thing I
knew, my father was taking me to the hospital, and right after that, to his
house (hopefully, for good!)

I couldn't have been happier; daddy finally chose me!  But my happy dance didn't
last for long, because my wickedevilstepthang made it abundantly clear that she
wasn't having me break up their "happy home".  And so, more misery descended
upon me, accentuated by my fathers' own dissatisfaction with the way his life
was going.

I don't remember where the lightning bolt came from, but apparently, one day a
flash hit him: send Rose to Arkansas!  yeah, that's the ticket!

-Uh, huh?  Who says I wanna go to Arkansas, daddy?
   Awww girl, you'll be down there with my mother until I can come down
   there with you, he said
-You promise, daddy?
   I promise, he said
-When will you come down there with me, daddy?
   Soon, he said
-How soon, daddy?
   A month, he said

So plans were made, bags were packed, and off I went, down Arkansas way.

I must admit, the plane ride was very cool.  It was my first plane ride, and I
didn't wanna miss a single experience.  I *liked* the plane food, and, for the
first time in years, I didn't have to fight my sisters for a window seat.  I
loved that plane ride...

...and when I got to Arkansas, I realized right away that it was a Big Mistake.
A *BIG* mistake.  Honkin big.  Huge.  I wanted to turn around right away, but it
was too late.  I guess sharing my looks with my daddy marked me, too, cuz next
thing I knew, this gigantic woman with breasts the size of my head--each
one--grabbed me and tried to kill me.  I'm thoroughly convinced of that; why
else would she have smothered me in between those deadly weapons?  Oh no, I
thought; this has *got* to be a mistake.  I do not belong here, nuh uh.  Daddy,
come get me!

But Daddy was miles away, in Detroit, prolly with my wickedevilstepthang and her
little miniature wickedevilthangs by then, so all I could do is beg for air and
pull away from Gigantor as soon as possible.  Gigantor introduced herself as my
Grandmother Ellen (it's funny how those names you hear in your elders'
reminiscing are just so many syllables until you meet the person matching the
name. Many was the day I heard, in the background, my mother or my older sisters
refer to "muthereln", and I guess this was who they were referring to) and lord,
are we glad to see you little Rose; Fee (their name for my daddy. I don't know
why) has told us *sooo* much about you, can't wait to get you home so we can
show you off to our neighbors!

I thought I was gonna be sick.
I noticed, though, behind Grandmother, a smaller, quiet man; Grandmother told me
that this was my Grandfather Wolfe.  I wondered why he didn't talk much, but he
looked ok, I guess.  He drove us to what would be my new home for awhile, in
England, Arkansas.  He didn't say a whole lot on the trip home.  Possibly
because my Grandmother handled that department all by herself.  And all the way
there, I cried.

Got to the house, after that long trip with Grandmother telling me all about
Daddy and stuff that I barely listened to; they asked me if I was hungry (not
really, Grandmother; "that's alright chile, ah'm makin you a nice big supper, go
stretch out for a few minutes and relax"; uh, ok Grandmother), then I went to my
room which had this huge, soft bed in it.  Didn't quite expect that one, so I
laid down (noticing that only a curtain separated my room from theirs) until
Grandmother called me out back.

England was a very rural community, so it didn't surprise me that they had
chickens and other small animals at the house; I was happy about it, though,
since at least I'd have something to play with in my misery!  I just hoped that
the kids that were down there were not meanhearted as those I left in Michigan,
but if not, I could hang with the chickens and such.  I thought I could, until
Grandmother struck fear into my heart with her next action.  She opened the
coop, took out one of the chickens, grabbed it by its neck, swung it in the air,
and with a twist of her wrist, broke its neck, much to my wide-eyed horror!  And
I got a chance to witness, first-hand, A Chicken Running Around Like Its Head
Was Cut Off.  I stood there in shock, seeing that, not believing that my
Grandmother would *make* me watch her doing something like that.  And when she
saw my face, she laughed and said "how did you *think* it's done, girl?"
Revolted, I ran to my bed and cried myself to sleep.  And as much as I like
chicken, when she called me in to supper and tried to pile a big mess-o-chicken
on my plate, I looked at her like she was crazy (and turned down her
jelly-frosted cake too.  Jelly??? Who the hell puts *jelly* on top of cake?
What is *wrong* with these folks??? arrgh, Daddy, come and get me!!!)

I went back to my room, and would've shut my door with a bang--had I had
one--then pulled out my books to read and get lost in them, when Grandfather
came in.  He started speaking, with that mellow voice of his, and though I can't
remember his exact words, I do remember the feeling of calm that came over me.
He saw how distressed I was, and in his quiet way, he explained that my daddy
loved me so much that he wanted me to try to be happy somewhere else, and that
he and Grandmother were simple folk, but would help me find peace again.  And I
believed him.

                           *TO BE CONTINUED*

THANKS bams!!!!  STAY TUNE for Part II of "A Child's Story: Remembering
Grandfather" in an upcoming issue of THE 10.  Please feel free to send your
comments directly to bams at (


8)  PRAYERS and MORE GOOD NEWS TO REPORT - Please keep the following members in
your thoughts and prayers:

Shaun Cecil's father has been extremely ill.  Our prayers for his father's
recovery will truly help Shaun and his family through these rough days.  Please
feel free to send your love and prayers to Shaun at (

Karen Roberts' mother was ill several weeks ago.  The good news is that her mom
was released from the hospital and is in good spirits.  Please feel free to send
your GET BETTER WISHES to Karen's mom at (

Sandra Bushell recently had wrist surgery.  She's still having difficulty
typing, which explains her absence.  We pray for your speedy recovery because we
have missed your submissions to the Poets Niche.  Please feel free to send your
thoughts to Sandra at (

Tina Marie Clark is attempting to gain custody of her infant niece.  She is
confident that with more prayers, any obstacles that she may face during these
custody proceedings, will be removed.  Please feel free to send your advice and
prayers to Tina at (



One of my best friends, Wanda Singleton, made her CONCERT DEBUT on September 4,
1999, in southern California.  [Sidebar: Wanda is also the wife of one of our
featured poets in COME INTO OUR WHIRL, Sidney Singleton].  If you want to hear
an ANGEL SING, turn your radio station to HEAVEN Sent.7, because my sister's
voice is out of this world.  CONGRATULATIONS LOVE!@!@!  Please feel free to send
your love and support to Wanda and Sidney at (

More Tina Marie Clark - On August 28th a rally was held in New Orleans to mark
the 7th month anniversary of the murder of little Kevin Wooden.  Entertainers
from all over the country (including Tina Marie) were their to lend their
support, and raise money for a reward to find the killer of this innocent child.
Tina read her poem "Cut Off Too Short," which she wrote in memory of Kevin
Wooden.  Tina's community spirit is truly inspiring.  Please feel free to send
your thoughts to Tina at (


9)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - This week's featured poets are:

           THE DANCE by Gustave W. Blache III (yes, moni's son)
           A SMALL CHILD'S PRAYER by Glynis Hill-Chandler
           BEST FRIEND by Ayesha Calloway (15 years old)
           WHO GETS IT by Dlonzo
           I DREAMED by Cheryl Stocker
           MY BIRTHDAY WISH by Cinda M. Crawford

Check out POEMS OF THE WEEK 50 at ( and read for yourself
these thought provoking poems by your fellow poets.  THANK YOU POETS!!!


10)  Email-gram - Dear moni: "What's the deal with the 10?  Did I miss an issue
or are you slippin' because I don't recall receiving last week's Top 10?  Oh
yeah, and how do you put these issues together?" - signed: Lost w/o my weekly
Top 10~!~!~

Dear Lost: Oh Lawd, I missed writing an issue of THE 10!  Say it ain't
so...[Okay, okay, the truth...I needed a mini-break].  It's not really hard to
put each issue together.  After I read tons of emails, throw in a tablespoon of
divine intervention, a pinch of inspiration, and a dash of humor, I stir
everything together and pray that it all makes sense.  Hey Lost, I didn't think
anyone cared.  Thanks for asking, and this ISSUE IS DEDICATED TO YOU!!!

Below is moni's Poem of the Week [with a little behind the scenes look at how it
was conceived].  Last year, New Orleans was under a mandatory evacuation due to
the threat of Hurricane Georges.  In an attempt to keep me calm [more like
distract me], Saleem and I collaborated on this poem even as I packed to leave
the city for higher ground.  Okay Saleem...what do you have up your sleeve for
this hurricane season?  HAHAHA!!! As always, your comments are greatly

Until next week,



S was a man M knew from past lives.
Their paths crossed lifetime after lifetime.

It wasn't because they left things unfinished or
unresolved.  It was because they promised to be
each other's light, fire, water, heaven and earth,
until death, which never seemed to happen.

Each time M took her first breath into another
century, a new frontier, or another galaxy,
S was always there to welcome her.

S was the author of M's life.  She was the one
he wrote about in his search for unconditional
love.  M was S's memory of each lifetime they
shared together.  She revealed to him that life
itself was the lesson.

S was the only person who found the peephole
to M's dreams.  M was the only person who made
it safe for S to dream with his eyes wide open.

For the S in he is the She in me
and the M in her is the Man I see
a whole divisible only unto ourselves.
Only M could give S back his flight
for this wingless bird had shaded his light.

While in the timeless Mind/Sense of it all,
each became mirrors to deflect their fall
Toward a coalescence -- their certain fate
For the S of SOUL and the M of MATE.

Our destiny was written in the stars, and our
footsteps marched to the beat of a different

S knew M's history, and always whispered
the future in her ear.  He shaped her thoughts
with just the sound of his voice.

M's laughter was a homing device which guided
S back to her arms.

And, their love was eternal because S is the Sun,
and M, the Moon!

The Solar passion of their love formed meteorites
of incredible intensity.  A fusion of mind-thought.
The refraction of their very Being lifted the whole
of Humanity to Other Greater Worlds.

They became the songs, legends and mysteries
of the Universal Principle.  A union remembered,
cherished and honored.  A depth and density of
which no one could match.  Their Light shone
beyond stars and was emulated and coveted by
those that knew its Glory.

S was sublime. M was Magnificent
Beyond this World, this Age, this Time
For M understood that

Seasons, and Shorelines bowed to her name.
Oceans and Rivers undulated under her glow.
Distance and Direction would be led by her
guiding Star.

He followed M into the Period of Time known
only as the Beyond Eternal.  They had been there
before only to be returned to one another's arms.
Moving closer and faster toward fulfillment.

They stole time together, drank of the Neptunian
nectars of Joy, Harmony, Abundance and Peace.
Ate the Fruits of the Gods before them

and then...

M opened her eyes.

M felt the warmth of his arms wrapped around
her waist.  S was snuggled behind her in a fetal

S pulled M closer.

"Are you having the dream again?"


"Then welcome."

S kissed M.

The Sun and Moon


Monica Blache (
Saleem Abdal-Khaaliq (
            (c) 1998


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