Monday, May 30

'Round Midnight:
Bullets Silence Poet -

A leading poet from HBO's Def Poetry Jam . . .

was assassinated at Midnight over the weekend just after closing and locking up his coffeehouse, The Literary Cafe, according to Miami police.

Willie Lee Bell Jr was gunned down in a blinding hale of bullets lit up by the headlights of a rapidly arriving vehicle, from which the hitman exited, emptied his weapon, and then sped away.

The poet, who sometimes performed at spoken-word slams as Will Da Real One, was featured on Pit Bull's albums, among others. He was 47 years old. A candlelight vigil is being planned in tribute to him.

:: The assassin's motive remains unknown.