electric pieces.

smiling through crooked panoramas and reflecting through skewed prisms

i’m not a typical anything

being slightly not put together just feels right to me

i never fancied glue

i always thought pictures, horizons, clouds and people were more becoming when they were split in two

fascinated with the way windshields divide from the force of the smallest pebble

beautiful, fragile, delicate and still able to burst, so electric like transparent tie dye

my melancholy spills out in bright hues of bravery

and i apologize if it’s contagious

my smiles are created of all of my beautiful and broken pieces.

-lakin imani



13 things you do when no one is around.

These are things I find myself doing in the abundance of alone time I have acquired, that I actually enjoy … in no specific order. Perhaps you’ll find solace in your solitude or some comfort in the fact that you do these things too.

(I say “you”, speaking for the both of us)

1. Thinking of something ridiculous you said or texted a person earlier during the day, contemplating it and then reassuring yourself out loud saying something like this, “No, because they were trippin and I’ve been wanting to say that for a while anyway.”

2. Laying in bed endlessly reading blogs, watching documentaries/movies/series, listening to music and consuming an insane amount of M&M’s or Chips. Crumbs everywhere, completely entertained.

3. Walking past the mirror and smiling before leaving the house, or the room with the mirror.

4. Walking around commando, free yo’self.

5. Getting out of the shower and just staring in the mirror for a few moments before grabbing the towel.

6. Harmonizing to the top of your lungs with your favorite artist, being surprised either by how good and bad you sound. If you sound bad, saying out loud, “Ohhh, that was a mess.”

7. Crying. For any good or shitty reason, cryingg.

8. Working out and when you’re tired, pushing yourself with ridiculous words of encouragement or making noises that are similar to some wild animal.

9. Having self-pity, “I just wanna be in loveeee” moments and then realizing that early 20-something, all your friends are cooped up, annoyed, over-thinking, obnoxiously sprung, contemplating futures and waiting by phones. Then you realize, you’re better off.

10. Taking walks and smiling at the trees, children, people and things of the universe without having to engage in any conversation. Just being.

11. Drinking wine, not having to split a bottle and pouring as heavily as you please.

12. Waking up and thanking God out loud.

13. Eating Spaghetti, leaving the sauce on the corner of your mouth until you feel good and damn ready to wipe it off.

in lieu of being fearless.

Dreamers often get overwhelmed with the dreams they dream with their eyes open and fully awake.

For the past few weeks, I have been in bouts with the transitional place that I am in. With the silence from living in a foreign place and the loud volume of my creativity, I’ve been existing somewhere between in some ironic purgatory that has left me feeling lost. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Every few months, it’s fairly normal for me to go into a deeply introspective state that usually results in me being overwhelmed by all of the things I want to do in life and not feeling sure about whether or not I’m taking the “right” steps to achieve them or if I’m at a place in life that I feel is enough. I’m learning, that it is just my ambition becoming fused with the anxiety that I accrue when I feel my potential transforming into tangible fruition.

 On the brink of 22, I’m always living with the notion that time is a concept that we guarantee ourselves with no actual control over how much we are given, but only what we do with it. So my dreams often feel too large and uncontrollable for the questionable amount of time that I have as a breathing being on this earth.

After watching the Kanye West interview on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Show, I took something from a few of his words, ” You know, I’m only 36 years old. I have other goals and things. And I’m going to use my platform, every platform, to stand up and say, “I want to make something.”

In American society, the age of 36 is not normally deemed a point in life to start innovating new ideas or to set new career goals outside of the stability that most men or women at this age have already achieved. It is to be expected that once you attain certain level of class and status, that you stick what what you are good at and if you branch out as a celebrity, it is only because your finances allow you the free reign to pick up a new hobby or pastime. But as Kanye spoke about just a few years ago, working as an intern at Fendi, fighting for and defending his creative concepts for his  long existing passion for fashion, while still functioning as the mega-artist and creative guru that we know him as today, I immediately saw the humility that does exist within him, which is not typically perceived by the public from most of his statements and actions that unapologetically display his opinions and confidence.

There is something to be said about an individual who eats, breathes and sleeps the visions that he or she wants to see come to life. It is about going beyond what you are known for being good at and stepping out into the realm of discomfort and challenging oneself to become heard, seen, felt and respected in order to make an impact through ones creativity or whatever the endeavor entails.

It takes a person to become fearless in order to truly implement his or her passions and requires courage to watch those dreams be rejected or accepted. Either way, there is no ending point, only a constant strive to evolve the dream, even after it has become a reality.

So who am I, at almost 22, to feel unmotivated and defeated by the pressure of my dreams? To fear my own potential is to only be detrimental to myself, pushing me ten steps backwards from the brink of greatness I am approaching. To be fearless is the only way to be fair to oneself, opening up the doors for all possibilities.


am i.

i am a writer.

i am a song.

i am a dreamer.

i am not always a believer.

i am peace.

i am a warrior.

i am an attempting lover.

i am honest.

i am a friend.

i am a sister.

i am a daughter.

i am an auntie.

i am chaos.

i am healing.

i am a haiku.

i am a nuturer.

i am growing.

i am trying.

i am struggling.

i am more than circumstance.

i am not a keeper of time.

i am bruised.

i am beautiful.


who are you?


Throughout my journey in the Philippines, the native people would ask to touch my hair, and then instantly ask me if I liked Bob Marley. Of course, I do.

A moment like this happened in Cebu City between me and a woman who worked at the resort that where we spent two nights.

She: You have dreadlocs, is Bob Marley your idol?

Me: Well, in a way, yes he is. Do you like Bob Marley?

She: Yess, he’s very popular in these islands. All of the people love him. When he died, the country was distraught.

Me: Did you cry?

She: Yes, I did. I got teary eyed.

Me: I wasn’t born yet, but I still cry about it too.

She then told me that everyone loves the song “Jammin”. I heard it, and thought of her 🙂

from philly to the philippines.

for our week long Chinese holiday break, me and my friend Jihan decided to get away from the chaos of the city, and spend our time off in Cebu, Philippines. It was there where I finally felt a little peace of home.

Brown people, with smiles as big as the horizon, I was in awe of not only the beauty of transparent ocean, sugar-like sands and numerous palm trees, but the spirits of the Filipino people were breathtaking.

When we came to the end of the 3hr trek from Cebu City and walked off of the ferry onto the dock at Bantayan Island, we were greeted by men from the island, insisting that we let them carry our bags with no pay. Later at the village’s 141st Founding Anniversary town disco, our friend Tata who we met earlier that day said to us, “When I saw you come off the boat, I said wow, those are blackbirds” . 


To be described with such imagery and comparison to something so free was comforting. It was like that moment like, “you see me, how I see me too?”. It was even more special because of my last name, Starling which means “blackbird”.

For the first time in 2 months, I didn’t feel feared. My differences were embraced, admired and I almost forgot that they even existed. It felt good to say “hello” as I did before I came to China, just because it was on my heart to and that same greeting be reciprocated with pleasantness and authenticity.

The Philippines reminded that love is real, fearless people exists, happiness is very simple and the horizon is where anyone can look to and find a peace for and of themselves.

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