Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the ADA is 21 today

friends, i'm sick. and i'm really sad to be sick today, too, because i had grand hopes of writing a big, fat, juicy blog today about the anniversary of the americans w disabilities act, and instead, i am full of snot and just want to go to sleep. instead, i will make a partial list of why the ADA is important to me:

1. because the people i work with at ILRCSF are wonderful folks, most of whom have disabilities, and if it weren't for reasonable accommodations legislation, i probably wouldn't have them as co-workers.
2. because in the last year, my sister has been diagnosed w rheumatoid arthritis and, having been previously immersed in the independent living movement thru my work at ILRCSF, her diagnosis took on a different feel, i believe, in both of our lives - one more hopeful than would've previously likely been the case.
3. because i like being able to go all over the bay with my friend, amber, on her little scooter. i like the curb cuts and ramps and elevators that keep us moving, together.
4. because i am an activist and i love civil rights legislation of every stripe.
5. because i live in a human body, and will most likely be disabled at some point in my life, as will most of you reading this.
6. because we needed to start somewhere.
7. because we have lots and lots of places to go.

happy anniversary, ADA!

Friday, July 15, 2011

i'm reading the new critical edition of the narrative of the life of frederick douglass, including angela davis' lectures on liberation as well as juliana spahr's well then there now, which came in the mail today. just finished james baldwin's the fire next time and am put on motion , , have been spinning. rainbow arc, fish-fin, tail. circled orb/electrons: in greece. 15. this is how you do it. (self)

for instance: "the slave is actually conscious of the fact that freedom is not a fact, it is not a given, but rather something to be fought for; it can exist only through a process of struggle. the slavemaster, on the other hand, experiences his freedom as inalienable and thus a fact: he is not aware that he too has been enslaved by his own system." -angela davis

and: "togetherness of the lesson and the splitting" or "when my mother was saying we were middle class she was saying something less about our house and more about our location on the block and about our location on the globe at the same time. i was trying to think about what was right about what she said." -juliana spahr

these women are talking about some holes. are talking from parts of oakland, from female lips.

these women. these women.

the 26th of july will mark the 21st anniversary of the americans with disabilities act. i work for an independent living center which is a disability rights organization that functions on the basic premise that people with disabilities deserve to live in the larger community and to not be pathologized to death or lonesome all the time - another nod to freedom, split, touchingness.

i am going to call 2 hours worth of wisconsin voters tomorrow in an effort to help recall their republicans. i live across the street from a motel and the government wants me to pay them $313 a month for my $93,000 poetry degrees which i never intend to pay (entirely) off. i deserved those years reading and writing, god damn it - everyone truly does. this world is better off that i did that for my self and for my mind and it should never have cost that much, besides.

wine or orchids

crinkled iridescent foil

in my comments section, please humor me with answers to these questions:
1. tell me about where you're from, who your people are.
2. talk about language, as it was experienced by you, growing up where you did, in relation to family, place, being a worker, your mom teaching you how to work--etc.
3. breifly/ your perspective (divinatory/psychic) on where we are at, as a society in capitalism - we writers who use the art of invocation, as all language must be said to do.
4. a sentence on liberation.


ILRCSF (the organization i work for) is hosting a commemorative reading for the anniversary of the ADA at the san francisco public library (100 larkin), in which i will be a featured reader. you should come. 7/26 - starts at 6pm in the koret auditorium. it's accessible and you're welcome there.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

fyi, my grand prize-winning poem, "made flesh" appears in this online anthology, just out from the poetry ark! download it and check it out!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

working [class] reading series

:working [class] reading series

* Amee Puckett Boswell in conversation re: working, illness, property, management, momness and more
* Mg Roberts as featured poet
* and David Brazil, Steve Farmer, Sara Larsen, Lauren Levin, and Suzanne Stein - some of the organizing members of the Poetic Labor Project - filling us in on their symposium and blog (http://www.labday2010.blogspot.com/)

bring a covered dish or beverage. bring some pomes or almost poems. bring your curiosity about poetry, your thoughts on work or class or access. also, think christmas lights, driveway, old couches, kids and dogs, barbeque, after party.

:first fridays beginning may 6, 2011
:8pm at michelle puckett’s house
:702 w. macarthur blvd
:oakland, ca

with this series we aim to soften things up. we are thinking of people who interest us and then asking them what poems or thoughts they might have about work, bodies at work, working class perspectives on the world, stories of capitalism, commonality, and the millions of offshoots poetry allows us to consider given these things. we want to mix scenes and get comfie. we want hot dogs.

what we are looking for:

  1. any work, on any topic, by people who identify as raised-poor or working class.
  2. work from people from other classes, granted it considers deeply the plight and dignity of working people and casts them centrally in the writing.
  3. also, we want to facilitate a short dialogue with a worker – most often one who does not identify as a “writer” – each month. we will look at poetics and the work of words through a loose lens of labor and the body that performs it.

it is important to say that this series consciously considers physical bodies. the venue, a garage, will have space heaters and blankets and fans if oakland nights get hot. it is also completely wheelchair accessible, though we really regret to say that bathrooms are upstairs. assistance will be provided to anyone who needs it and there is a bathroom at the gas station across the street and at macarthur BART.

we think just by talking about couches and kids and bathrooms we are making for a new tone as far as reading series go. we hope you’ll join us. hot dogs will be provided but BYOB.

:michelle puckett & amber dipietra


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Philadelphia Poets present readings by Michelle Puckett, Tai Amri, Kim Gek Lin Short, and Cheryl Quimba! Saturday, April 2, 2011 Fergie's Pub 1214 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 4-6pm Followed by Con/crescent readings by Jamie Townsend, Rob Halpern, and Julia Bloch at 6pm. COME DRINK BEER ALL DAY AND LIVE A LIFE OF POETRY WITH US! love:m

Sunday, March 6, 2011

i want to stay here & i'll be glad

hallo. it's been a while. again. oh well, i'm back. and since my last post i have: written a thesis, graduated, moved my sister and nieces from dallas to berkeley, gotten into and out of a relationship, gotten a full-time, union job (!) at a non-profit, moved myself from one part of oakland to another, and, most recently, found out that i won the GRAND PRIZE of $1,000 in the poetry ark competition for my poem, made flesh.

holy shit! no wonder i haven't been on this thing!

so now i am settling into my new home and job and i am coming out of the winter, as i know all of you must be also, and the world smells fresh. i smelled it today. all of this, turning. i am falling in love and the world is filled with hummingbirds, chuparosa, flowers. daylight getting longer.

from my journal, last entry before before akilah died:

while this tumult
random shots
penoptigon, or what have you
permanent disregard for revolt
lybians refusing to fire on libyans

plus, love
there is love
lazy eye and tongue
gruesome and staggering
shock, baby
pissed, and wrapped
monarchy, armchair
what we do with power
that stuff - its'shapes
what we make
dream . negotiate

then, after she died:

there are sirens in oakland at your memorial
the shaking of change
the day after knowing

we spent nine days uplifting akilah, thanks to lou florez. i could feel the work happening. and i have loved her so much this past week and i've felt grateful to have just spoken to her before she passed. we were planning things. paris in the summer, and i was to stay in her apartment at the end of march. she was happy, had been following news of the revolutions going on in egypt and tunisia. she was giddy about it, we both were, and imagining things. she told me she was still looking for her lover.. and i told her about the working class reading series that amber dipietra and i are starting and i asked her if she would read and she said, in the most tender and delighted voice, "yes, michelle, i would love to read at your series." we talked about having her in the fall. all of these things, not to be. just believed in by us for that night, and a few days after. i will miss her forever.

and now she is uplifted and it is time to tend to the business of spring, all of us left here. it is time for loving. and it is time for revolution. it is time for what is tender, for what i love most.

p.s. i'm headed to philly & NYC at the end of march and, thanks to debrah morkun, i'll be reading at molly's bookstore in philly on 4/2 with my beloved tai amri spann-wilson, kim gek lin short, and prolly one more person. come out, if you can! this don't happen every day!