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  • Listening to: the restlessness of two years gone by
  • Reading: Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood
  • Watching: the hearts over the emoticon
  • Playing: with how to say these things
  • Drinking: a crystal glass of water
What can I say? I've been away for a long time. But I have not stopped writing poetry. Rather, I've been trying to live out my poetry in real life.

The changes in my absence have been extraordinary... There are now skins for journal entries, twitter icons for deviations...


But really, things have changed. The last summer I was writing here was spent slaving away in New York, interning in the fashion industry and dreaming of a day when I could breathe more easily. Now I've left the fashion industry forever, left the art school of my old dreams, and am diving full-force into a new digitally-driven revolution.

The other day, I slowed down for a moment, and asked myself:

What would my life have looked like without the Internet?

And I remembered this place.

Without this community, the amazing support of all of you, the countless comments and favorites, the DD's, and most poignantly- a single gallery by onthemetro that changed my 14-year-old life forever... I would never have been a poet.

Not like this.

And so I thank you. I posted a last poem, today, dedicated to you.


>> If you're of the changing-the-world-through-creativity variety, I invite you to stop by my new website, at

>> You can also find me on Twitter !

Keep writing & devouring poetry, and may it light your way as it did mine.

  • Listening to: Jem - They
  • Reading: Galapagos - Kurt Vonnegut
For the last month or so, I have been preoccupied with a large and slowly rotating mass of philosophy, bursting free under my skin and taking unprecedented, tangible shapes.

It's been both wonderful and terrible. I have felt both amazing triumph and tragedy, opened up to the sky and crumpled on the ground. I suppose it goes with being eighteen, the first year of art school, the seizures possible from words and people, and a dinosaur-sized belly of instinct.

What it's doing to my poetry, I am not sure, but am full of hope. Sorry I have not been writing for a while. It's been gathering speed. And changing. Like me.

And now I am in New York, living entirely on my own for the first time, working and interning and dreaming. The city is inspiring my metaphors right now and I think I'll let them take me as long as it lasts.

To whomever is reading this:
be good to yourself; allow yourself to feel, to think, to be something wonderful.
  • Listening to: Rachael Yamagata
  • Reading: The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
Yay for 10,000 pageviews! *blows kisses to everyone who's stopped by in the last..four years?*

Wow. It's been a long time. And it's a miracle I never abandoned this thing (writing, as well as dA). God knows it's wanted to abandon me :P

Also! Am finally (almost) caught up with NaPoWriMo! This has been a hard one. But only five to go and two entire days to do it. If only I were so productive the rest of the year...

I'll leave the flightiness of this entry now before it takes off altogether.


Edit: Haha just realized that the subject makes it seem like I've written ten thousand words of poetry. Or ten thousand poems O_o. Either way it's amusing so I'll leave it there.
  • Listening to: Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You- S. Nicks
  • Reading: The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
Yup, that pretty much covers it :D

Thank you: to SparrowSong for the DD feature! Logged on today and didn't even suspect anything until I realized that I was actually having a hard time going through my comments! Anyway, thank you to anyone who read, faved, and/or added me to your watchlist. :heart:

CONGRATS: to flappability for getting into RISD!!! You're absolutely amazing + deserve every bit of happiness you're getting from this acceptance. I will be seeing you THIS FALL (and hopefully sooner as well)!

NaPowrimo: ...haha yeah. I really am planning to do it for a third year. Just give me some time :P

Life has been a little complicated lately. Too many thoughts and changes that's gotten my head spinning. But poetry is always a constant I can return to, thank God.

  • Listening to: Pandora
  • Reading: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell really, damn hard. Haha. There isn't any other way to describe it. You'd think the creativity would fuel everything, but the truth is that after long studio hours and wearing yourself thin in the intense environment all that comes out words-wise are streams of consciousness and equally intense responses to the aforementioned experiences.

I'm going ahead and posting a few of those "responses" but they're unpolished/super rough so I'm not promising anything. Be gentle :P

hello all!

I hope your lives recently have been hot air balloons - soaring, taking you places. I know mine is about to float into the sky.

I'm leaving for college tomorrow.

It saddens me that I didn't write more this month, but that's how these things go. You reflect on them for so long and then you realize there's no time for anything else. Hopefully the words will go with me, though.

If you'd like, send me your poems, reminders to write, etc etc. and I will put them up on my wall at risd :)

Tessa Zeng
2 College St. #1945
Providence, RI 02903

  • Listening to: sometimes - howie beck
my life was consumed in the last two months by a myriad of things, but most of all this crazy, amazing fashion show that I directed and created from scratch at my high school. it was the most intense bundle of work and energy that I've ever pulled out of myself, but after all the insanity it paid off & ended up being amazing.

the best of the photos (half the designs were original student creations - 6 of which were mine - and all the models were students ^^):… it's the last three weeks before graduation, the first time I've really had time to breathe all year, the ending of everything, and it feels like a speeding car has suddenly thrown me out of its doors into the still and open roadway.

I'm standing in place for the moment, but I know I'll be off soon. I don't think I can ever truly let myself feel the ground, being who I am. Yet in this brief stasis, I shall try to write, read, and absorb some of these vital creatures called words. I have missed them for far too long.

thank you for being patient, as always
  • Reading: The English Patient by Michael Odaantje
I GOT IN!!!!!

For those of you unfamiliar with me and my craziness, RISD is short for Rhode Island School of Design, aka my dream school to which I applied early action two months ago.

Haha when I first saw it I stared at it for a good five seconds and then I screamed. Really loudly. Loud enough, in fact, that my neighbor from down the street turned around and stared at me and I had to tell him I was okay.

oh well. I am so unbelievably happy right now!
The world is amazing.

I submitted a few designs to this fashion design contest back in December, then promptly rather forgot about it..and then last night, amazingly, I received this in my inbox:

Hi Tessa,

   It's our pleasure to inform you that your "Dreaming in Color" entry was handselected by an expert panel from almost 1,000 entries, as the Grand Prize winner of the "Yours by Design" campaign!! Congrats on having such a fabulous entry and winning this amazing campaign! As the Grand Prize winner you'll receive a $1,000 shopping spree at Kirna Zabete, a feature in ELLE Magazine, and a "virtual mentorship" with Thakoon! Your design will also be sold at Kirna Zabete in New York, Tokyo and online!

at the VERY least this took my mind off RISD for a while!
It's just...ahh! I thought you guys might want to share the craziness. I'll let you know when I get more details (ELLE is supposed to contact me within a few weeks)!!

EDIT: Thanks for all your support and comments. It means a lot to me, esp. since I haven't even been around much lately. :heart: :heart:

Rehashing what I said in a lot of comment replies... I actually ended up having a talk with my teacher just after I wrote this, and it turns out she just wanted to push me more since she thinks I "have so much potential." Which is quite reasonable if she really means it, though the message was very ambiguous at first. I think I can work through it now, though, and she gave me some good advice. But thanks again for sticking by me even as I was just ranting!

when you receive blatant, seemingly-unwarranted, and worst of all, imprecise criticism on your writing?

I've never taken criticism terribly well. But I respect, if not like, it when someone who knows what he/she's talking about makes a definitive point that I've missed.

But today I got my journal back in English and there it was, 14/20's on almost every entry (they're graded separately) and the only comments are that everything is too vague and needs to be "Extended."

I don't get it. And it hurts me because I've been slaving away all month while she, an alleged amazing teacher who's taught here for years, has hardly noticed or cared what I do in her classes. Yes, I'm in two of her classes-- AP lang and creative writing. I'm the only student in the latter, which she shafts in with another one of her classes.

The journal pieces weren't polished, by any means. But they weren't meant to be. And they were my sincere responses to a series of staple, generic prompts. Written all in my usual style, of course.

How can you read all of that, pieces I've put effort into describing and explaining, and then just scribble a "too vague" at the end? Oh, and a long rambly note on how it's going to hurt my grade if I don't rewrite them.

I know it's stupid to get all cut-up over a class assignment. But it's too much to take right now. I am fragile as glass from stress and Nanowrimo. I have less than 5000 words to go and right now I can't bear to think about it. She also made me email the bulk of it to her earlier this month, in addition to a six-page short story, both of which she's not even taken the time to comment on. The strangest thing is that she loved my earliest journal entries, which were certainly no stronger than my last few. And now her general attitude towards my writing seems to be one of careless distain. I can't even describe how violated I feel.

And hurt.

It hurts to write and write and write even through the college applications and the late night practices and then to have something like this happen. Because I know for a fact that none of my peers are taking on nearly so much right now. I'm flying down to Florida this Friday for a national drum corps audition. My dream school's application has to be finished next Monday. I don't even know if I can do this.

pretty words

Sun Aug 26, 2007, 11:50 PM
  • Reading: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
nothing makes you feel beautiful like some pretty words.

let me try to get it into my system again, I've been missing it. thanks for standing by me and not stoning my account over the last two months. or perhaps I flatter myself? (:


ah, carousel

Sat Jul 28, 2007, 9:11 PM
  • Reading: Fall On Your Knees - Ann Marie MacDonald
(subject title from a long-ago poem)

new york was a four-week gas smear of colors and textures layered on top of one another, it was beauty and confusion and sadness and the clearest tenderness
and with a head full of artificial stars I came home
I am home


okay, fess up

Thu Jun 28, 2007, 7:49 PM
  • Reading: Writing Down the Bones - Natalie Goldberg
What amazing person bought me a subscription?!
>< I feel bad because I'm going to be at Parsons by Sunday and won't be here for a month to appreciate it!
I love you, though, whoever you are.

Since I have a sub, I might as well take advantage of it for a few days. Here's a thumbnail of a semi-recent surreal drawing I did, courtesy of my art account Aviusaura

no fairytale, just bunnies by Aviusaura

  • Listening to: radio blog playlist
  • Reading: chicken soup
from Alice Blue Review. &… pretty online mag.
(mood has nothing to do with entry)


Are you sure you're 16?  These are the poems of somebody much older than you.  Just a little more exercise in tightening and editing (for example, I would recommend cutting 'i cried' and starting "bursting under" with 'heat, heat,' which is a lot more interesting on its own), you'll be the next Baudelaire or Rimbaud.  So young for your talent.  

Congratulations on your skillful use of language and form.  While we can't use these poems for alice blue, at least not until they're tightened up a bit, it's an impressive feat on its own.

thank you for the opportunity
amber nelson
poetry editor, alice blue
  • Listening to: pandora- augustana radio
  • Reading: Amsco. lovely. omgAPinaweek
edit: oops, I meant naPOwrimo :P duh.

Here is a comprehensive list (not chronological...the order is somewhat thought-out :P) of my NaNo poems from this year...I wanted to do it as soon as April ended, but I've literally not had a single free moment until now ^^;

so w/o further ado...


if this were a poetry collection, it would be called one-word titles
by Tessa Zeng
dedicated to A.


an afterthought: sex isn't the answer

(*Daily Deviation awarded)


wow, figuring out the order of that was...rather interesting. the pattern got eerie at times. I wonder if other people get that too, going through their writing with an intention to organize, strategize.
thanks everyone for reading!
mayhaps one day my poems will actually appear in chapbook/book format.
we shall see how the next year goes :) :) :)

p.s. try not to assume, 'kay? (if you have no idea what I'm talking about then just ignore you like you'd do a crazy person, haha)
  • Reading: Amsco. lovely.
Just wrote three poems in one breath
(albeit a crazy breath that went on for a half hour)

I wrote a 7-page personal essay today
hardest thing ever
and I still have an entire problem set to do for physics
and an essay outline to type up for history

and in about ten minutes, I'm going to be behind for NaPoWriMo. Again.

But it's the last one! Must. must. must. write it. Oh, but then I need to write two, because one of them was a haiku that didn't have a one-word title and I'm so ridiculously self-injuriously obstinate.

hopefully I will survive until July, no?
  • Listening to: Nada Surf
A DD! This was entirely unexpected. Thank you for all the comments and +favs so far....and PoeticWar for the feature! I thought I'd never get one :)


P.S. I recently revived my art account-- take a look? Aviusaura
  • Listening to: Nada Surf
  • Reading: Amsco. lovely.
  • Eating: peaches does some particularly lovely and accurate ones.

For April 9: Your creativity is more powerful than a sudden electrical storm. You are compelled to create art, music, murals, buildings, manuscripts, etc., no matter how busy or tired you feel. Right now, you're driven by a higher power that trumps physical or emotional exhaustion. Something inside you needs to get out and be fully expressed. Deafness didn't stop Beethoven, a Sagittarian - and a few bumps, bruises or inconveniences won't stop you from reaching a goal, either.

I'd like to think/wish that this is how I feel every day. I think, whether unconsciously or supremely consciously, I'll be striving for this kind of expression all my life.

One of the great complexities of life, to me, is how one can feel so incredibly invincible and so mortal all at once. I think artists, or anyone who thinks with their heart or taps into some other primitive source, are most aware of such things.

  • Reading: The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins
Hi everyone :)

Indeed, with all your votes I managed to win the fashion campaign on! Thanks for the wonderful support!

In grander news, I was chosen as the sole recipient of a full-tuition scholarship to Parsons New School for Design's pre-college Painting and Drawing intensive this summer! It's extremely exciting, especially as Parsons is one of my top dream schools and (if you don't know already) also one of the top art/design schools in the nation. And it's in NYC! :D but yes, I'll have to cover housing, supplies, and personal expenses, so rest assured my winnings from the fashion contest will be put to good use.

Guard finals in two weeks! Eek! We have such a good chance of placing this year...*crosses fingers* wish us luck!

I also played violin today for the first time in literally forever. I remember when I used to be so passionate about it :) next summer I think I'm doing drum corp (professional marching band that's totally insane and I'm insane to consider it), but since in college I probably won't have a chance to continue color guard, I might go back to violin in college. It's such a shame to let my passion go-- haha, that is one thing I hate to think of wasting. Passion, and time.

Writing, art, fashion, guard, and then the music that's gotten me through all of it. I always knew these were the big five :floating:

Thanks again for all the love! I've also gotten some incredible comments on my writing lately that's really made my days.

  • Reading: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Hi everyone :)
So the fashion contest I mentioned some time ago is About to end. I'm currently a close 2nd and 3rd, but I need all the support that I can possibly get if I want to win.

If you care at all about supporting an aspiring designer (who also rather needs the scholarship money to attend a rigorous pre-college program this summer), please take a minute and vote for me today and tomorrow!

My profile: -- the designs are on the far right

Thanks so much & God bless.