kalina, 17

the writings and ramblings of a confused teenager living in stifled suburbia.

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turn me out, turn me inside out
tug on my loose threads, my fraying edges
until everything i’ve ever thought, said, felt
is laying at your feet, a heap
of words and whispers and murmurs,
unruly and tangled,
dyed a million different shades
of memories.

turn me out, turn me inside out
tug until there’s nothing left, nothing left
to wonder about—
until there’s no mystery to it all,
and you could be satisfied

(but i am so much better as i am,
an enigma left unsolved.)

somehow autumn is here again, and i
am almost used to the loneliness
that wells up whenever i look at the falling leaves
and wish that i was falling, too.

(a different sort of falling.)

but i am not, and i am used to this;
it happens every year, and every year i learn
something more about myself—
about the strength i must have
to be alone so much and still be the same.

(i don’t have a problem with being alone. anymore.)

for if there is one thing i learned from autumn
it is that falling can only happen 
when the time is right.

(and i don’t mind the wait.)

days and nights roll on, and they blur
together, sunsets and dawns all the same.
i have stopped counting the hours.
i have stopped counting the days.
i don’t want to know if i am changing;
i don’t want to know if i am not.
it is all a blur, and i want to roll
amidst the chaos until i drown.

i want to say something
but i am afraid the letters
will fall flat and hard
and shatter the peace
i’ve tried so hard to find.


You know, I learned to love before I made my first real friend. With Atticus Finch's quiet and humble bravery, Ponyboy's leather jacket, Ralph's young leadership and calm and Hermione's exceeding brilliance - none of whose skin tones were described. So, as a brown skinned woman growing up in North America I began to naturally assume whiteness in every character unless stated.

When I was sixteen, I read Leslie Lokko’s 'Bitter Chocolate' and sat with absolute disbelief because I had never fallen more fiercely in love than I did with Laure. I related to her, was astoundingly inspired by her well-written character and for the first time in my young and limited range of literature I was reading about a female lead character who was of colour. She was not killed off. She was strong, she was human, she was continuously and purposefully in the foreground. This book changed my entire life. This character changed my entire being. Laure was the closest representation of myself I had ever had the honour of seeing described and because of that - because of that, I am pulled with urgent disagreement. We should not say that skin colour should not be mentioned because it does not matter. Mention it, describe it, find an imagery for it so phasing it forces your reader to put their book down until it is normal to read about a brown skinned love affair or the childhood of a mixed race little boy. Because race matters. We cannot pretend hundreds of audience members were not outraged when they realized Suzanne Collin’s description of a ‘dark skinned’ Rue meant black. We cannot pretend that they were not outraged because they had spent tears and emotional bondage with a character only to find out that she was 'just some black girl'.

We are not all in a position to write characters that describe skin tones. I am - and it is because I want to rewrite that police report. I will rewrite that news headline. I will write of Mazar-e Sharif and describe the way the skin of my ancestors contrasts with the Blue Mosque. I will write of Indonesia and describe the Javanese dancers fiery spirit - and I will mention her skin against batik. It makes me proud and it is important to me because I want my ancestry in the foreground. My skin tone already does not matter. So, I will write about it so much, in beautiful and thought provoking, personal ways that it will make someone go ‘I didn’t know that’ so many times that I will have rewired their entire cognitive understanding of the tone before I have ended my sentence.

A response to ‘Living Colour’ by jayarrarr

Tagged with: #YEEEEEEEEES  #important  #save  #reblogged  

all i see when i blink are the
red lights



where the fuck am i going where the fuck—

the light turns green and i push
my foot down on the gas pedal
and i go somewhere i know

but really i don’t—

the quiet is the best and the worst.

mornings like this i want to hang 
out the window, let my legs dangle
over nothing but air, hair blowing
in the morning breeze—

but i walk downstairs and i sit alone
and i eat my breakfast just like every
other morning, and the day goes by

and i don’t feel any lighter than when
it all started; and i don’t feel any brighter
when it all ends.

the quiet is the best and the worst.

today we turn and turn and turn— 
tomorrow we are back at square one.

circles and squares, we are all
circles and squares—

the clock runs and runs, and runs, and it is 
another day to waste,

another set of minutes and hours
divided into do / do not / do / do not /

this day is not over yet.
i am not over yet.

but lately all we have been doing
is waiting / waiting / waiting /

for everything (everyone?) 
to be over

crushed roses and grass stains
tears. something else i can’t recognize.
book pages. notebook pages.
unfinished work. unfinished thoughts.
seconds and then minutes.

i am, and maybe i am not.

Album art
  • Artist: Coldplay
  • Album: X & Y
  • Track: What If

click to play


the gunshots tap a rhythm
into the thick night air of the windy city.




heavy thumps of feet on pavement—
a cry for help—


inside, no one moves.

the curtains stay drawn; the lights stay off.

the television plays on, sounds and colors
looping on and on and on amidst a world
of black and white, of sound and silence.

at dawn, the police collect a body, and with it,
the blank stares of people who have grown
far too used to this.

Read More


Untitled (morning verbs), 2013


Untitled (morning verbs), 2013

Tagged with: #reblogged  #save  

midnight crept into the spaces between our fingers
and pried them apart, slowly, surely, softer than
the shadows we left draped across the pavement.
we left goodbyes that spilled and shattered across
crisp night air, rolling until we could not hear them
anymore, vanishing just like our promises had.

i wouldn’t say that i’m into pain—
no, i’m not into that sort of thing—
but i keep telling myself that i might
feel something more
something more for you—

—and that is the same thing, isn’t it?

i think i’m going to try to be
more honest when i write,
which is difficult, because
nothing ever happens, and i
just imagine everything to be
far worse than it actually is,
or far better, and in the end 
i guess it never really makes

a difference.

(that’s what i wanted to be.

i wanted.)