to die or to vivify

a soft flame flickers

on the boundary

between glorious hope

and absolute darkness


the faithful come

to pay their respects

they whisper a prayer

underneath their breaths

and disappear into the shadows


a storm stirs in the distance

and so we must wonder

if such a fragile illumination

will be able to bear

the onslaught

of the tempest.


A morbid curiosity

Even though I know we cannot coexist,

I still want to know what happened,

I still wish you were saved.


I wonder what kind of things you would have loved,

What passion would you breathe with in this world?


And even though I’ll never know you,

You’ll always live on within me.

135 – Pressing “Restart”

Been overwhelmed over the course of the past two weeks. Can’t think of a better word to describe how much I couldn’t really handle the things that were happening around me.

Got sick last Monday. Likely a viral infection. It got worse as the week went by and I actually don’t know how I survived. Did two midterms I didn’t really study for. BS’ed a lab report together last minute and then completely butchered the pre-lab that needed to be done before the lab. School was a nightmare and it’s safe to say that I probably didn’t do well on anything that week.

Recovering slowly now. Can feel some of the heaviness lifting off my shoulders – especially as the long weekend approaches (thank goodness for reading break).

Also found out that I got a little mini scholarship from my college (U of T is divided into colleges) for having a decent GPA. $500 isn’t much in the face of a $7.5k tuition, but it’s something. This made me really happy for all of lone second before my brother killed it with some bad news.

My uncle had passed away from cancer.

I’m actually still not sure which uncle.

But I would rather live with the uncertainty right now than have to face a reality that could turn out to be much worse.

All the information I have is from a Skype message with my brother – the vaguest person alive (exaggeration, but not far from the truth).

“Uncle” could be anyone.

In Chinese culture, “uncle” is a very vague designation.

Anyone could be your “uncle” provided they were close or close to your family.

But “uncle” could also mean your real uncle.

As in my father’s brother.

As in his twin brother.

And I can’t imagine how that would feel. Losing someone with the same face as you, someone you grew up sharing everything with.

For the first time in a long time, I feel sad and sorry for my dad. He may not be the greatest person in the world, but no one deserves to lose someone they love.

But all of this is speculation.

It all comes down to the fact that I don’t know shit.

And probably never will know anything concrete about family affairs (other than my aunt and grandmothers whom I have at least met and love).

In Vancouver, there was already a barrier of communication. Now I’m in Toronto, there might as well be a Great Wall between us.

And just thinking about this pushed me into a state of depression.

Spent Halloween night just crying (and subsequently had to lie every time someone asked me what I did for Halloween). I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone in my life. At least back home I always knew what my mom and brother were up to. Now I don’t even have that (except for the ~biweekly calls I make back home).

All this isolation was devastating to me.

Made me want to give up and just go home.

But I can’t.

I’ve come so far and to throw it away would just break me even harder.

And so, just like every time you reach a GAME OVER in a challenging video game, I have to press RESTART.

Because it’s not over till it’s over.

Every time I hit a slump,

I just got to reset my mindset and carry on.

Remember the good moments and let go of the bad.

This might be a bad analogy, but I’m going to put it in here anyway to cheer myself up a bit – I always love applying the things I learn in class to my own life:

Just like a treadmilling actin filament in which the minus end is breaking and the plus end is building it back up, as part of me is breaking, another part has got to be strengthening up. And just like in the cell, this breaking and building will propel me forward.


P.S. Rest in piece, dear uncle. No matter if I knew you or not, I’ll pray you have a good afterlife. We will miss you.

Dark Resonance

Scarlet lens
I feel the end
The war is in its passing

Hot tears stain my cheeks
But they are not mine to shed.
I have failed the one
I held most dear.

The last traces of a
Fleeting hope
Numb my aching limbs
The sound of her heart breaking
Is a blizzard
Upon my consciousness
And I
I shouldn’t have made a promise
I knew I couldn’t keep.

Close my eyes
And let darkness bleed
For only in these dreams
Will she forgive me.


an inescapable numbness

building upon my heart

devouring me from the inside

and tearing me apart

feeling choked

a little short of breath

and instead of light and laughter

all I feel is death


the death of my future

slowly slipping away

the death of my self esteem

I tossed out yesterday

and the wretched hold of emptiness

rising from the grave


my armor’s torn

my glaive worn

and beneath the layers of heavy rust

my resolve lies crumbled in the dust


you can’t escape

you can’t escape

the demons whisper in my ear

as they crawl past my defenses

and colour me in fear.

Let our hearts reign

when love is stolen, we lose our minds

and in the darkness, power finds

roots and tangles our shattered hearts

crushes hope like poisoned darts


we crave release, we hunger more

and we destroy from shore to shore

and we, upon finding naught

continue crushing lot to lot


we often forget we are not alone

we wield our fire and wield our stone

we claim the earth beneath our feet

and lose the meaning in what we eat


bad things come when love is lost and power sets itself in slate

evil washes over us, lust and envy, greed and hate

and all we’re left with is guilt and regret

a fucking mess and a heavy debt

it’s time for change, time to bring back love again

it’s time to release, time to let our full hearts reign

mistress milieu

my friends, my lovers, my allies all abound

come one, come all, draw in to my sound

come rejuvenate my insides

come purge away my fears

this is the turning of the tides

retribution for the years


it is time to reclaim my body, lift the ulcers off my chest

tornado, earthquake, thunder, and storms for all the rest

they think that i am conquered, but I’ll show them they are wrong

i’ll make this battle cruel and hard, astringently long


there is nowhere for you to run to, you are confined to my fair frame

what do you think you’re doing? do you think this all a game?

there’s no turning back now, no pausing, no restart

you’re the one who tore inside and stretched my heart apart


here i leave you one last choice, one route of self-redemption:

restore me piece by piece so that i may live by your side

let there be love and harmony between us, sans prejudice and pride

let my pores breathe again, give me space to grow and bloom

and know that any other path you take will only lead you

to your doom.