kalina, 17

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

Other places:

Creative Commons License

Flag Counter



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.)

i don’t know who
or what i write for anymore.
sometimes words come out
and i forgot i even had them
somewhere inside, 
forgot that i was capable
of stringing them into phrases
fragments of emotions 
running wild in my 
(mostly empty) head.

there was a time when i tried
to force the words out
and i thought my shitty poetry
was good, and maybe it 
read well, or it sounded pretty

but in the end it was shitty, because
you can never force words out
and not feel them
and expect it to mean something.

the anatomy of a flower is shockingly complex.
this i know because i once ripped a rose 
into shreds and watched everything fall apart
shards of red and green and brown at my feet.

i thought it was prettier when it was ruined.

(that is all you have to know about you and me.)

you and i are exactly the same:
always slinging our words across the
fragile silence, hoping that they’ll find
some sort of resting place,
some sort of understanding,
somewhere in the void that 
somehow we’ve come to create.

but you and i will never understand
that you and i, we walk a fine line
always drifting between brash
and outright stupid,
rolling with things we know we shouldn’t say
but we spit those words out anyway.

along we roll, clutching our old habits close
and our stubborn uselessness closer
crashing into drunken nights and
muddled mornings after, holding on
to everything and nothing

(everything, or nothing at all.)

but one of these days
one of us is going to get tired

and you will wake up, or i will wake up
and it will all have been a fever dream—

(everything, or nothing at all.)

The naked female body is treated so weirdly in society. It’s like people are constantly begging to see it, but once they do, someone’s a hoe.
Lena Horne (via africantea)
Tagged with: #REMINDER  #quote  #reblogged  #Very Important