When he first introduced the current group of Harriet bloggers, Nick T. mentioned that I was in Berkeley. This is only partly correct. I study (or whatever it is that PhD students do) in/at Berkeley, but I live and write in Oakland.

(from Oaklandish)

(from The Girl and Rhino)

(from Silence the Violence)
Deep Oakland:
Cities are more than the people, buildings and geographical areas that define them. They are a nexus of connections creating active, vital communities. The size and shape of these connections may be invisible, even to the residents of a given city. And the location where one thing in the city connects to another thing is often on the move. Points of connectivity may be small, short-lived, visible only on a one-block radius. Connections mutate. Yet the way a city ‘looks’ from the outside (media) can remain proportionately static with the actual generation and re-generation of communities over time, the transit and intersections of people, water, money, memory, ballots, animals, concrete, water, labor, food and information.
Affiliated with neither the tourism nor better business bureaus, Deep Oakland seeks to create a compendium of inter-linked images, text and sound that represent the complications and vitality of Oakland’s current moment.

Deep Oakland Texts:
Layer 3, Port by Haleh Hatami
SpOAKlanD by Dennis M. Somera
Simulpoem by Dillon Westbrook
A Force to Separate by Samantha Giles
West Oakland Sutra for the AK-47 Shooter at 3:00 AM and other Oakland poems by Barbara Jane Reyes.

I have one Oakland line that I would like to use sometime, somewhere: "and almost as beautiful as an immigrant rights march down International."

Originally Published: October 5th, 2008

Javier O. Huerta's debut collection Some Clarifications y otros poemas (Arte Publico 2007) received the 31st Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from UC Irvine. He is also the author of American Copia (2012). A graduate of the Bilingual MFA Program at UT El Paso, Huerta is currently a PhD student in the...