To: Poets Niche
Issue #51 - moni's top 10 E-ZINE (minus 1)
(The Poets Niche Official Newsletter)
Wednesday, November 30, 1999


       Wisdom has two parts: 1) having a lot to say; and
                       2) not saying it!
                       (Unknown Author)


This week's issue:

-  moni's POEM OF THE WEEK


1)  BIRTHDAY WISHES - Besides the obvious -- Thanksgiving and Christmas -- 
what's so special about being born between November 23 and December 21?  
Being Sagittarius!!!  When setting goals, Sagittarians usually hit their 
target because they have pointed their bow and arrow in the right direction. 
  Their search for knowledge and truth will certainly make theirs a life 
full of adventure.  Please join me in wishing our Sagittarian BROTHERS AND 


2)  THE REAL SCOOP ON THE NAWLINS WHIRL TOUR - Where do I begin?  My Aunt 
Clara used to say, "If you plan a party for 90 people, 20 will show up.  If 
you expect 20 people, then 90 will be there complaining that there's not 
enough food."  So, I planned for 1, that being me, because I knew I would be 
there.  The final head count was 20 -- BUT WHAT A GROUP OF 20!!!

The Visual Jazz Art Gallery was the PERFECT place, and Richard Thomas was 
the PERFECT host.  The Gallery's atmosphere was cozy and laid-back.  Hanging 
on the walls were paintings inviting us to partake in an evening of pure 

I started off the festivities with MY VERSION of the TRUTH of how this group 
of vagabonds became the Poets Niche.  I then served up a little bit of what 
makes my brain tick and expose the people really responsible for all the 
madness. [Translation - I was finally able to blow the whistle on my parents 
and tell the WHIRL who they really are -- the real inspirers, my motivators 
and biggest fans, and. . .oh yea, my deep pockets].

TWO (YES, 2) Poets Niche Singers -- Tina Marie Clark and Nyra Pierce, then 
treated us to the rich melodies [acapella style] of their voices.  Tina sang 
her song, "Tribute to Bob Marley" (which, by the way, is one of Rita 
Marley's favorite songs, dedicated to her husband).  I can't speak for 
anyone else, but I was certainly tapping my feet to Tina's Reggae tempo and 
wonderful tribute to Bob Marley.  Nyra then captivated us with her powerful 
renditions of "God Bless the Child"; "Prayer to Our Ancestors"; and reworked 
Lou Rawls' song "World of Trouble" 4 da sistahs!!!  If I'm ever given the 
choice of what I want to be if reincarnated, Lawd, I want to come back as 
NYRA'S VOICE!!!  Not only does this dynamic duo write songs and poetree, but 

The next DIVA to arrive on da scene was New Orleans' own Monique Fradieu.  
Sistah-gurl rocked the house when she read "WHEN ALL SISTAHS WAKE UP" from 
her book "divine".  [This is the second time I've seen Monique perform.  Her 
delivery is cool, calculated and silky smooth.  She is definitely an Apollo 
winner].  Up next was our Special Guest Poet, poetry consultant for the Data 
News Weekly, Mona Duffel.  Mona warmed our hearts with her poem "Lost 
Cards", written in memory of her father; and we rejoiced in sisterhood with 
her poem "Earth Angel".  Then she hit us with her, I'm not male bashing. . 
.I'm just telling it like it is poem, "Black Man-Dead Man."  [And yes, I'm 
still screaming].  The final performer was A. Shelly.  She heard about our 
little party on the radio, and decided to check us out and join the group.  
I'm sure we will be hearing a lot from A. Shelly.

As far as open mike performances, I must admit that I was thrown a curve 
ball when my father (YES, MY DADDY) wanted to stir-up the gumbo with a mix 
of his storytelling.  [I immediately apologized to everybody ahead of time 
because I had no clue of what could or would come out of my father's mouth]. 
  I held my breath, squeezed my mother's arm, and secretly prayed that he 
wouldn't tell stories about my childhood.  Let me just say this. . .You know 
how those traveling church revivals setup shop and claim to heal folks who 
aren't really in need of healing (if you get my drift), and their ringer or 
ace in the hole HEALS EVERYBODY in the PLACE.  Well, you can be guaranteed 
that the next time I host a Whirl Tour, I WILL NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT MY 

Tina Marie was kind enough to send me the following email - "I want to thank 
you for a lovely evening.  I really enjoyed finally meeting the very nice 
person who keeps the home fire burning at Poets Niche.  Moni, you are truly 
a blessing to all the members at the Niche!  Your father added a delightful 
addition to the event.  Please thank him and your mother for me.  I enjoyed 
the wisdom and strong emotions felt by my fellow poets.  Thanks again for 
being there for all of us!!!"

Here's the bad news, however.  I only sold two (YES, 2) books.  And although 
I initially felt defeated, I quickly rebounded because I recognized that I 
was surrounded by 20 beautiful souls who gathered together for the purpose 
of inspiring one another!!!

There was nothing left for me to do but SMILE!!! (Hey Walt, pictures of the 
Madness Tour are on in the mail).


3)  4 DA FELLAS - If you don't already know it, the Poets Niche has been 
lucky enough to have as members some very gifted and talented COOL 
CATS/GUYS/BROTHAS/FELLAS/HOMIES/GENTLEMEN.  I didn't want another moment to 
go by without taking this opportunity to THANK our MEN FOLK for their poetic 
wisdom.  On a more personal note, thanks GUYS for watching over me, making 
me smile or "just calling to see how ya doin'" laughing marathons, sending 
me photos, flowers, cards, candy, and thoughts of Just Because!  Therefore, 
I DEDICATE this issue of THE 10 to ALL OUR COOL 

Cephus Pierce and Christopher Hare were kind enough to help me out with this 
issue, and I know you will enjoy their words of wisdom!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I Wish My Brother Would. . .

I wish my brother would. . .
have more respect for himself
expect more from himself
reflect more on the life he leads

I wish my brother would. . .
believe more in himself
achieve from within himself
feed off his own ability to succeed

I wish my brother would. . .
take more pride in himself
not hide behind himself
not be denied from reaching his dreams

I wish my brother would. . .
raise the level of himself
see through the haze that blinds oneself and
blaze a trail of fortune for others to redeem

Cephus Pierce (c) 1999

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

From A BOY to a MAN

Raising a boy
To become a man
Is a difficult job
But one in great demand

You try to teach him right from wrong,
To love, not to hate,
But sometimes following your own advice. . .
well, that's another debate

You try to be loving
But still keep him in line
While protecting him from experiencing
The overrated "props"
Of doing hard time

Guns and violence
Is the coward's way out,
Armed with education as your weapon
He can win this never-ending bout

Out on the streets of opportunity
He must learn to survive
Respect for himself
He must continually strive

In all of our eyes they are uniquely defined,
But "To be a Man. . .you must see a Man"
No matter what his color
The boy will need a helping hand.

Christopher Hare (c) 1999

Please feel free to send your love and support to Cephus at 
( and Chris at ( 
Thanks Cephus and Chris for helping me out of another tight squeeze.


5)  One of the things I love about this job is actually talking with many of 
YOU.  I never know what to expect when the phone rings or how my life will 
be changed because of a single conversation.  [Sidebar - I've been told that 
the sound of my voice has the power to make men weak, as well as make them 
reveal their deepest secrets].  This time I used "my voice" for good instead 
of evil, during a candid conversation with my dearest brother Reggie Byrd.  
Our hour-long conversation was off da hook!!!  Below is the "only" part of 
THE INTERVIEW I'm allowed to share with you!!!

           * * * * * * * * *


moni:  Hey Reggie!!!  Is Reggie short for Reginald?  When you were growing 
up, I'm sure kids also teased you about your last name, Byrd.  Can you 
remember one particular "joke" or something someone said which made you 
laugh when your last name was used when joking around.

RB:  Yes, Reggie is short for Reginald.  I actually hated Reginald until I 
was about 22 (now 28).  Except for those who I'm very close to, everyone 
knows me as Reginald.  The last name was cool because I was not the loving 
brother everyone knows now when I was growing up.  I was a bully, a bad ass 
(pardon the language) and I loved to fight (golden gloves at age 16).  Some 
of my homies did call me "Big Byrd" and "Tweety" though.  I suppose that's 
as bad as it got.

moni:  What part of the country did your family fly into (sorry, I couldn't 
resist), and where do you call home?

RB:  My "Roots" (HA) are originally from Nigeria.  My grandfather, who's an 
architect, was transferred to the United States because of his job.  
Spartanburg, South Carolina, however, is where I was raised and call home.  
I moved back down south at 13 from Paterson, NJ and now reside in Georgia.

moni:  You are one of the "original" group members.  How and why did you 
become a member of the Poets Niche?  More importantly, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG 
[okay, I've said it and gotten that off my chest] to start submitting your 
poems to group members.

RB:  My sweetheart, Neanda (better known as Tasha to many of you) who hails 
from Atlanta, turned me onto the Poets Niche.  I was feeling the group from 
the beginning but I am a very observant person and wanted to make sure the 
timing was just right before I added my flavor to the gumbo.

moni:  Was there a particular point [after sitting in the background for so 
long, and yes, that was my last dig], did you say to yourself, "Hey, these 
folks aren't too bad, and they seem to have a little talent.  I'll just 
submit one poem and see if these people are for real."

RB:  No.  Not really.  Like I said, I was feeling the Group from the 
beginning, but I must admit that I did feel a little intimidated.  The 
turning point for me was as a result of a sad event.  One of my partners was 
killed in Marc, and that prompted my initial submission "By the Way".  It 
didn't go over as well as I hoped.  I chalked that up to another learning 
experience and that only a few members knew me.  Then came "Sensations" and 
closely following that piece was the love from the members of the Poets 

moni:  There are still a few long time members who haven't submitted 
anything yet.  Can you share with them, how you felt after you started 
receiving responses regarding your poems and the honest feedback you were 
looking for.  Do you have any advice to help them understand the process of 
submitting, and that they shouldn't be apprehensive because we really don't 
bite? [except for Walt, of course].

RB:  On a very serious tip - GO FOR IT!  There is absolutely nothing to 
lose.  The family, as I have dubbed the Group, is all LOVE.  If there is 
something they can help you with, they're more than willing to give you 
advice.  Honest feedback from other poets helps you keep your work tight!  I 
love every soul I have met from the Poets Niche.

moni:  Now I know what you do for a living from 9 to 5, but most of our 
members don't.  Has what you do for a living impacted your life as well?

RB:  Oh yea.  Without going too in depth, I am a Rehabilitation Counselor.  
To see the lives of others impacted in a way I could not even begin to 
imagine mine, is enlightening to say the least.  It keeps me focused.

moni:  Your poems are very sensual!!! [See Poems of the Week 40].  Do you 
believe that in order for men to express their sensuality poetically, that 
they have to tap into their "female" psyche about love, relationships and/or 

RB:  I don't know about any female side. (Whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis?)  I 
do think that because men are raised to be physical and breadwinners, a part 
of our emotional psyche is held in check.  But not that I know about this 
firsthand, I'd have to say "Yes".  Sisters and Brothers need to know that 
they are loved.  If someone impacts your life positively, you should express 
it to them, show your appreciation so they keep giving it to you.  I'm a 
romantic at heart, I enjoy actually doing everything I write about!  I'm 
into making my Queen smile and umm, to keep this interview "PG" pleased!

moni:  You are also in the Reserves, right?  Which branch, and does this 
experience lend itself to any particular moments or incidents to write 

RB:  I'm in the Navy Reserves.  The military is a funny and very important 
part of our society.  I really don't find inspiration from the military 
because as structured as many people may think it is, it's also very 

moni:  There is usually one major event or turning point in everyone's life 
which seems to alter their path, be it career choices, finances, and/or 
relationships.  What three events shaped your opinions, altered your path, 
caused you to take stock in your own abilities, and made you the man you are 

RB:  Good question!  Three events huh. . .The number one event would have to 
be my big brother being murdered in 1991.  That was the most pain I have 
ever felt in my life.  It stopped me from gang-banging and definitely made 
me become more serious about life and being alive.  Second, the birth of my 
son, Tariq, was the happiest event in my life.  He is my joy and my 
inspiration.  I wrote about how his birth changed my life, but I never 
shared it with anyone because I want it as the initial piece when I publish 
my work.  Third, I'm proud to say I was "One in a Million" at the Million 
Man March!  There was so much peace and unity.  Being a part of this 
positive gathering and seeing everyone getting along was great!  The heavens 
surely smiled down on me that eventful day.

moni:  Do you have a particular philosophy that you live by?  If so, do you 
believe that your faith gives you a little something extra which allows you 
to enjoy life to its fullest while still holding steadfast to your 

RB:  My philosophy and religion are primarily one in the same.  I am in the 
Nation of Islam.  Giving all of my energy, time, resources to improve 
myself, my family, and us as a people, is vitally important to me.  I live 
by something I picked up in my youth -- "It don't stop 'til the casket 
drops" keep on keeping on.  If I put a 100% effort into being successful the 
fruit of my labor will surely be plentiful.

moni:  I know I'll get a lot of bad press about this question, so I'll just 
put it out there anyway.  It's been said (probably by a man, yes a MAN) that 
"Boys will be boys, and dogs do have fleas." How can men dispel this rumor 
and show other men (and women), that "Boys who grow up to be Real Men have 
been treated, and that they are free of fleas!"

RB:  That's funny, and that definitely came from one of my Beloved Sisters!  
My recommendation -- Be yourself, no fronting!  Be honest and open, which I 
have a huge problem with, believe it or not!  I suppose 99.9% of the 
brothers I know have been or are "consummating with more than their share." 
But when the sexual appetite is fulfilled, it's so much more to being happy 
than sex.  "Mental Orgasm" is what attracted me to my Queen.  She is also 
very physically attractive.  However, outside of the sheets I have to be 
just as interested in her.  For many sisters, sex is what they initially 
offer and then get upset when the man is not interested in anything else.  
If you want a man to respect you for your mind and not your behind, then 
show him your MIND! That's the reality of that situation.

moni:  What was your relationship like with your father?  And, what lessons 
did your father teach you regarding your maintaining your integrity as a 

RB:  My relationship with my Pop is Good!  He is a Man with a good 
reputation and high morals.  He is a good role model for me.  His advice to 
me regarding integrity is "never compromise yourself for anyone or 
anything."  I can't say that I always lived by his words when I was younger, 
but I do now.  The same advice will surely be passed on to my son, in 
addition to things I experienced in my journey.

moni:  For whatever reasons or circumstances when fathers and sons are 
estranged, who do you think is responsible for bridging the gap and finding 
a way to talk about the pain and possible reconciliation?

RB:  The lack of a father will obviously leave some type of void in a 
"son's" life especially during the transition from Boy to Manhood.  Without 
a strong father figure or male role model, many of our young boys turn to 
alcohol, drugs, violence or sex to prove their manhood.  None of these are 
good or essential to creating and nurturing the essence of being a 
responsible MAN.  I strongly encourage the Brothers reading this interview 
that if you have children, be involved in their lives.  Spend more QUALITY 
TIME with your children instead of buying sneakers or giving them money out 
of guilt.

moni:  Do you think that if more men wrote about their feelings, be it 
through poetry or short story, it would help them channel their fears, 
disappoints and successes, as well as help them with anger management?

RB:  Maybe.  Even though I write about very serious and sensual issues, I 
still have to hit the weight room everyday to get rid of stress.  Writing 
poetry is more like a release for me.  It keeps me in touch with my 
feelings.  I say things with poetry and music I could never express in 
casual conversations.  I guess talking, being expressive verbally is my 
weakness.  I'm just glad I was blessed with the gift of poetic and musical 
oration to compensate.

moni:  Okay, the word association game.  What is the first thing that pops 
into your head when I say:

God - peace
fathers - Bay (my dad)
sons - Tariq (my son)
women - deep
abuse - extreme
addiction - whew
help - lifeline
pain - tears
love - *a huge smile* Redonia
reward - hard work

moni:  Since you were unable to attend our Atlanta Offline Party, your wife 
and a few of her friends came out to support us.  [I'm sorry I didn't get to 
meet them personally, but I do recall seeing a group of women sitting in 
front wearing big smiles].  What news did she report back with, and was she 
able to put the faces with the "real people" you spend so much time email 
chatting with and talking about?

RB:  She loved it!  She was somewhat overwhelmed by the talent.  She felt a 
lot more secure about the time I was spending with my Poets Niche family 
afterwards though.  It helped her to realize I was not romancing and 
actually working.

moni:  I remember when I received your first email (and boy was I 
surprised), I immediately emailed you back.  Once we started emailing each 
other, we've been hot and heavy because we had to catch-up on who shot JR!  
HAHA!  I guess my question is, since becoming an "active" member, have you 
made that Poets Niche Connection with many of your fellow members?  If so, 
what have you revealed to them about the "real" instead of "cyber" Reggie 
that you haven't shared with us yet.

RB:  Yes, with Sisters Nyra, Neanda, Brother David and yourself.  I have an 
extra special place in my heart for you guys!  I think you all know 
something of Brother Reggie that is unique to our friendship(s).  I'll leave 
that at that.

moni:  Has this experience enriched your life for the better, and have you 
connected with the kind of people you wanted to associate with, as well as 
possibly creating lifelong friendship(s)?

RB:  Without a doubt.  As I shared with My Beloved Nyra and you during one 
of our conversations, you shocked me with some information about yourselves 
(I won't mention what) but it was all good!  To learn from others is always 
good.  If I say nothing else, I have learned to appreciate things from 
various vantage points since becoming active.  It's been awhile since I hit 
the family with a new piece.  Look for something to come out real soon and I 
will share a part of my soul with everyone again.

moni:  Reggie, thanks for hanging in there with us for so long.  Are there 
any final thoughts or comments you'd like to get off your chest before we 
conclude this interview?

RB:  Let me extend the greetings of Peace and Love to "my" Poets Niche 
Family.  I hope you all keep working and sharing your poetry with the WHIRL 
and me.  And, remember to stay focused, positive and keep striving for 
excellence.  Thanks for this opportunity BabyGirl!!!

No, THANK YOU!  It was a PLEASURE because I'm still laughing!  Please feel 
free to email Reggie with your comments and love at (



      Voyages with the Madman: Series III, Part IV,
             by Rodney D. Coates (c) 1999

Daylight seemed to pause while giving way to the stillness of an eve filled 
with the sounds of wonder and mystery as all life sang its tribute to being. 
  These songs, with their ancient melodies, made new by the freshness of 
those whose zest for living was only matched by the brilliance of the stars 
even now rising on the horizon.  Rhythms of life, movements in time, sweet 
refrains capturing the very essence of being.  Just as the rhapsodies took 
flight in my soul screaming silence rocked my world.  The lush green path, 
surrounded by ancient oaks and cherry blossoms, lilac, ferns and paved with 
grass and daffodils, slowly gave way to brown, dying trees and bushes, 
patchy grass where an odd assortment of "things" had been thrown.

Color TVs, couches and love seats, stereo consoles, lamps and broken 
mirrors, boom boxes and computers - still in their original boxes, were 
everywhere.  Garbage, junk, trash, old and new tires, bumpers, engines, and 
parts of cars haphazardly filled the spaces where jasmine and tulips once 
grew.  The closer we got to the small town, just over the bend, the more 
cluttered the path became. Things, like nooses, strangling all life gave no 
quarter to young or old.  The silence, like death, continued to echo against 
the hollow of my soul, to the point where I could stand it no more.  
Painfully my eyes turned to the Madman now sitting in the middle of the 
road, head clasped in both hands as he began to weep and wail this sad 

Once their song was sweet and new,
Even the angels did pause, joining in this chorus to life.
The stars heralding their love for being.
Wind surfers gliding through the clouds with joy and glee.
Skating through the Milky Way, getting drunk on the possibilities
Ever unfolding in their grasp, petals of wonder and jubilee.

Now the creature worships the things that they have created
destroying the rest of creation in desperate attempts to be.
Once their souls were filled with the beauty of being, of
striving, and of loving.

Now plastic substitutes for substance,
Soaps replace being, hearts paved in concrete
love succumbed by greed.  Once their purpose
was in living, their essence defined by giving.

Now, hoarding all for the sake of having,
they sit watching the things catch dust and
the objects of their pleasure decay and rust.
Once they loved with great abandon,
filling the spaces with rainbows and music.

Now their lust consumes the moment,
futile gestures, clanking remnants of what used to be,
Tired, sordid misdirections and futility
Cloud their hearts and distorts their souls.

Silently, we passed through the town, ever watchful for its residents or 
just the sound of their presence.  Nevertheless, there they sat, in front of 
things that moved not and spoke not.  The objects had become their all, and 
now they were consumed by the void that could not be filled.

In places, here and there, mansions oddly situated were visible.  These 
cruel jokes played on the senses.  Manmade turf and strange yellow roses, 
plastic hedges and shallow trees, imitation doves and one sided deer resting 
beside a still stream where painted fish aligned the basin - all of the 
forms but none of the substance.  The illusion made complete with bronze 
humanoids standing, walking, sitting and playing in the timeless insanity of 
artificiality.  Then, as if by design, an eagle did pass and spoke these 
solemn words.

Public hells and secret passions
Sleepless nights in search of day.

Excessive baggage and obsessive expectations
Draining the soul and life away.

Plastic fancies and caustic dreams
Consuming past either want or need.

Praying to gods of gold and copper,
Salvation sought in another possession.

Love for sale, got that love right here,
Nickel johns and ten-cent whores.

Quarter highs and long alibis
Of why things never seem to go your way.

Just another day before this gray fades into
Black and I find my way back home.

Catch another ray of hope within this
Dream and turn away from things
that only brings sadness.

Hitch your schemes unto the streams
That runs deep within seams of what
Is real.

Look, the stars, the sky,
A baby's first cry.

Feel, the softness
Of another's caress, dare to reach each
Others soul.

We, the Madman and I, continued past the town, through the meadow of their 
discarded dreams and schemes.  Signpost on the edge of town, marked the 
place for all to see - its name, Hopeless.  And our voyage continued.

            * TO BE CONTINUED *

THANKS DOC!!!!  The Madman series continues to receive RAVE REVIEWS FROM ALL 
OVER THE COUNTRY.  The Doc has informed me that the Madman series is being 
translated into FRENCH and ITALIAN!!!! You definitely don't want to miss a 
single word of this ongoing saga.  STAY TUNE for Part V from the VOYAGES 
WITH THE MADMAN series.  [Check out issues 39, 42 and 47 of THE 10 for parts 
1 thru 3].  And, don't forget to send your comments and love directly to 
rodneyc at (


7)  MORE GOOD NEWS - I just love it when our members inspire others to tap 
into their creativeness and the result is something powerful.  Here's a peek 
at an email I received, which explains what I'm trying to say:

FROM RENEE:  Moni, girl you just wouldn't guess what happened!!!  My Sweetie 
(Larry) was powerfully inspired this morning and wrote me a beautiful poem.  
The irony of all this is he doesn't write poetry, never written a poem a day 
in his life; but, felt truly compelled to allow this piece to flow out of 
his spirit.

[Renee, you are certainly a lucky woman!!!]  Without any further ADO, and 
for the FIRST TIME EVER, I am proud to present the DEBUT POEM of LARRY D. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

              WHY ME!?!

As I sit at my desk watching the blue skies
The only vision that appears is of your beautiful face

At that moment,
I realize the gift that God has bestowed upon me
And all I can ask myself is "Why Me!?!"

I think about your smile, your laugh,
Even the cute curves of your tiny lips
And again I ask myself "Why Me!?!"

Do I deserve a woman that gives so much of herself
Am I giving enough?
She deserves so much more
So again I ask myself "Why Me!?!"

When I see the passion in your eyes,
When you are looking up at me as I make love to you

So much love you generate for me, your sensuality,
Your compassion, including your unconditional love for only me
And giving me the most precious thing
That you have to give which is you,
Again, I must continue to ask myself "Why Me!?!"

But then my answer is delivered with the only logical response;
Because I love her so very deeply,
So "Why Not Me!?!"

Larry D. Ross, Jr. (c) November 1999

WAY TO GO LARRY!!!! Looks like we have another new member.  Renee and Larry, 
thanks for allowing me into your inner-circle.  Please feel free to send 
your love and support to Larry at (



                Men Are Like

... Bank Accounts.
Without a lot of money, they don't generate much interest.

... Blenders.
You need one, but you're not quite sure why.

... Chocolate Bars.
Sweet, smooth, and they usually head right for your hips.

... Coffee.
The best ones are rich, warm, and can keep you up all night long.

... Commercials.
You can't believe a word they say.

... Computers.
Hard to figure out and never have enough memory.

... Coolers.
Load them with beer and you can take them anywhere.

... Copiers.
You need them for reproduction, but that's about it.

... Government Bonds.
They take so long to mature.

... Horoscopes.
They always tell you what to do and are usually wrong.

... Mascara.
They usually run at the first sign of emotion.

(unknown author)


9)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - By the way, if I sometimes call out to you, it's 
because of the endless days and nights I'm without you.  You melted away the 
snow and answered another age old riddle.  As the piano player plays 
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and the moon dances across clouds, I know 
my destiny is fulfilled.

This week's featured poets are ALL MALE and ALL MEN.  Their words will 
certainly evoke many emotions, as well as cause you to pause for a second to 
smell the coffee.  You might want to take a moment out of your day to sit 
back and indulge in reading the poems of our featured poets:

      SOMETIMES by Reginald A. Byrd
      BY THE WAY by Reginald A. Byrd
      BROTHA BROTHA by Demeterius Smith
      UNDERCOVER by Saleem Abdal-Klaaiq
      MELTED by Shaun Cecil
      THE PIANO DIED by Jim Roche
      MANY MOONS AGO by Padmore Agbemabiese
      DESTINY FULFILLED by David L. Weeks
      UNTITLED by Chris Kendalls
      SOLITAIRE by Cesar Vargas
      ANOTHER AGE OLD RIDDLE by James L. Abernathy

Check out POEMS OF THE WEEK 57 at (  Please feel free to 
send your love and comments directly to our FEATURED POETS.  Thanks FELLAS.  
I am truly SPEECHLESS!!!


10)  TIME TO REGROUP - Many of you have emailed and called me wondering 
"Where's my moni's Top 10?"  [True confession no. 1 -- Initially, I used to 
feel pressured to publish THE 10 EVERY WEEK.  After I emailed out the 50th 
issue on November 3rd, I said "WHEW!"  If you haven't figured it out yet, 
putting together THE 10 is almost like a religious experience for me.  If 
it's not flowing the way I feel it should, then I'm not going to force it].  
[True confession no. 2 -- I decided to take some time off to regroup, 
reevaluate, and redirect my life and career choices.  Whenever I'm 
overwhelmed by the enormity of life's responsibilities, I begin to feel that 
the essence of WHO I AM is being somewhat compromised or lost in the 
shuffle.  Therefore, if I periodically disappear for awhile, please don't 
worry.  This is just my way of getting my priorities in order].  Thanks for 
checking on me and making sure that I didn't fall off the face of the earth 
(although that might not be a bad idea, as long as there's a Wendy's in the 

Below is moni's Poem of the Week.  Your comments are always welcomed and 
greatly appreciated.  Until next time, keep the peace!

much love



Taken over by an all too consuming power of
wishful thinking, I remembered the first time.

Taken back to a yesteryear of simpler times, I
held the only gift he gave me - memories - close
to my heart.

Taken by his kiss of renewed love once lost only
because our lives were altered by circumstances.

I didn't expect t/his gift to last for an eternity.

I rejoice in the splendor of knowing that I was
never forgotten.

Now conscious that the days seem longer without
him, I want nothing more than to be. . .taken.

Monica D. Blache (c) 1999

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