桂花酒

Osmanthus Wine

Those memories I have of you are sweet, sweet like the osmanthus honey you used to make me, petals hand picked from your cobblestone patio back in China. You left only a few jars before you went back to Nanjing seven years ago, but I still remember…


Between Barbed Wire: A Visual Analysis of TIME’s Welcome to America

Welcome to America. 2018. http://time.com/5317522/donald-trump-border-cover/. Accessed October 1, 2018.

A series of rafts float closer to shore, near the Rio Grande on United States territory. The riders’ faces are beaten and their hair mangled and sweaty. Most, if not all of them, are women and children. Driving out…


Every parent has a pet peeve. My mother’s is dishonesty. In her house, even the little white lies never went unnoticed. Sometimes she would pounce and catch me in the midst of telling a grandiose fabrication. But other times, she would catch a lie on her tongue, roll it around…


The needle is a fine strand of hair plucked from an aging scalp.

It is intentional in physiology:

Designed to be invincible, it pushes through flesh and muscle with ease.

It is good-willed in nature:

Dimpled at the end of a steel body, it permits quick removal.

Yet, as breakable as it seems at first puncture,

The metal point sends quicksilver through my veins, which

In its wake paves a path for the flow of vitality.

I lay with what seems like thousands of needles, and

I focus on the inkling of a feeling:

Each prick is a reminder of ancient history.

Each prick is the nature of traditional practice.

Each prick is a bookmark: the memory of a needle in time.


Walking through streets of Nanjing

Lanterns speckled by the carbon dust and debris,

I inhale.

Sweet, like the honey Nai Nai keeps

Soaked in osmanthus petals.

The vendor blows molten sugar,

Curling it into thousands of fine strands

Which cling to the next like blades of wet grass

Trying to…


Open source still has a long way to go before software, and software development alike, becomes more equitable. Open source has proved useful in building a community of developers and creating high-quality products, but it is also reveals some of the worst parts of humanity. …

Jocelyn Shen

Grad Student @ MIT Media Lab/ tech & society / creative writing / poetry / art

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