Welcome to Perpetual Ponderings of Alice Chen!

Hello friends!

Welcome to my blog!

Continue reading


Sound of Silence | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying this weird weather change because one day it’s snowing and the next day it’s spring.

Sound of Silence

Among the rushing cars and quick gossip conversations,
you don’t really notice the drippy faucet
or the chirping early-birds.
You won’t care if Katie is engaged
or this lady is pregnant
or why that man is wearing his hat like that
or why we’re required to pay for education
or if your worries are weighted to your own life.

Isn’t it terribly heavy? To be constantly wondering
if your hair looks like hers with “easy waves”
or if your nails are the right matte millennial pink
or if you’re supposed to graduate at 22 and get married at 26.
Doesn’t it get so noisy when all your thoughts dance around
finding the right shower jams
if the juice cleanse you’re doing is actually working
if your neighbors are jumping on the bed or if they’re having noisy sex
if they like you, like like you or think you’re a worthless human being
or if the sadness you’re feeling is depression and not because you’re having a bad day.

“Can’t you just…you know…shut up every once in a while?”
Those words sting, but they’re true.
Your nostrils flare up to rebuttal my poignantly blunt statement
but you would just prove the point.
But you can’t let me win.
So you wait 4 minutes before you start protesting again.

If you would just take a second and just be.
Allow the noise to drain away
and take off the weight,
you’ll realize how wonderful
silence sounds.

This poem was inspired by my constant need to fill the silence with the constant buzz of social media. I decided that I would just stop…with the help of an app that threatens to kill a little graphic tree if you use your phone. That threat was enough to keep me away from my phone. I noticed a lot of change since I noticed more sounds that I don’t really hear. I also didn’t feel that on edge, so I’m going to keep it up until I don’t feel attached to my phone anymore.

I really wanted this poem to give the feeling of a rushed and overwhelmed feeling. I piled on the storytelling instances and tried to relate it as much as possible to your life. I know in my life, a lot of my peers are getting engaged, Kylie Jenner was (or was not) pregnant and people were shocked out of their minds when she gave birth, students were getting exhausted over work and everything continued to pile on. It gets pretty noisy.

In the following stanza, I sympathized with you and asked, “Isn’t it terribly heavy?” and piled on more thoughts that could’ve been flowing in your mind. Those thoughts started with little mundane thoughts like “if your nails are the right millennial pink” all the way to trying to identify depression over a “bad day”. It’s like a domino effect, snowball effect – things just get out of control.

The third stanza transitioned to a one-on-one conversation between me and you. It’s like all your thoughts spilled out and I told you to shut up. And the blow was rough, but it was exactly what you needed, although you pretend that nothing happened and continue to create more noise. And the last stanza was supposed to imitate silence and calmness. How is silence supposed to sound? Isn’t that kind of a paradox? And I was hopefully able to grant that answer after this poem.

Thanks for reading & I hope you enjoyed!


Snowflakes | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I was inspired to write a poem, so here it is!


A soft fluttering of snow,
gently brushing my eyelashes
and forcing me to look at the dusty sidewalk
and the small bushes gaining a little icing.
Finding solitude in the earliest mornings
occupied by a couple steps and tiny thoughts,
without any traces left by the end of the day.

A loud crunch beneath my feet
as I search for steady footing.
Scarves, hats and gloves block all intrusion
from the sub-zero wind and pelting ice.
Maintaining unseen strength through the uncertain
is ensuring that all will be safe at the end of the day.

A blinding sight with no intention to venture out
except feeble attempts to clear the roads
even when it’ll be covered within a matter of minuets.
Warmth in the presence of abounding chaos and
recognizing the need to rest and wait
until the sky is no longer grey
and when the roads are no longer slippery.

A miniscule snowflake, conjoined with every other one
to form a part of a whole, but still maintaining its uniqueness.

When I was in middle school, I started writing poetry. I would usually write poems talking about “love” (basically my infatuations with a guy saying, “What’s up?”) but I would oftentimes write about nature. Surprisingly enough, my poems about nature were usually a hit. I decided to give nature a whirl again since my other poems have been quite angsty.

The poem is built up with four stages starting with a gentle snow fall, going to the build up of snow under your feet, a chaotic blizzard and a single snowflake. I wanted this poem to carry the idea of “powers of ten” where it would focus on an individual thing and quickly zoom out by increments. I kind of did it backwards by ending on the individual snowflake, which I think is pretty beautiful.

I wanted to write this poem to emphasize the human uniqueness and our determination. Things suck. For example: Today I tried to go grocery shopping because I had almost had no more food and today was the only day that it wasn’t snowing. When I got to the car through a student rental service, the tire pressure was low, which caused me to swerve uncontrollably along the road. No groceries for me. (I got back safe.) Despite all that, I sucked it up and booked a new car for tomorrow. After a terrible day, you put yourself back together and try again. Individually, we could’ve reacted differently, but as a whole, we learn to push forward. I think that’s a wonderful thing.

Thanks for reading & I hope you enjoyed!


How to be Less of an Ass | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re staying warm since apparently we have six more weeks of winter left!

How to be Less of an Ass

I wrote this piece based off of my own writing prompt. Background: I run a separate writing blog on Tumblr and I post a prompt every day (except Sundays). Feel free to check it out. This prompt was birthed out of the blue, no context or any backing. When it came to writing a story on Sunday, I needed to write a story that was less for writers and more for readers. I tend to write with imagery that’s too in depth for regular readers to fully comprehend, so I’m trying to cover more ground by simplifying.

This story is about two brothers with the older one (I never specified) berating the younger one and half-way through the story, the story twisted around to the younger brother revealing that he only came to his brother because he was brave enough to leave his abusive girlfriend. To that revelation, his older brother took him in and recognized him and finally recognized him as family.

This story seriously packs a punch and I don’t think I overdid it with similes, metaphors and a ton of imagery. Because this is a flash fiction piece, I needed you to quickly get the picture, so I didn’t spend a lot of time describing the setting or the character’s background. I focused on what was current in the situation and sculpted a beginning and end. Please let me know what you think, if you felt like this story was more in depth, but more easily digested. I’m trying to establish a better writing style that’s more catered to you!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my piece!


How to be Less of an Ass | Quick Piece

He hurled the book at my head and shouted, “Take a look at this you pretentious piece of crap!” I picked up the book and read the title. “Really? Why do you even have a book called ‘How to be Less of an Ass’” My brother rolled his eyes and said, “That’s beyond the point.” He stormed over to me and started yelling at me about how I was incompetent, useless and just a waste of space all because I accidently left the milk out and it went bad. I’ve actually been living with my brother for about six months now and it seems like he has to pick on me every single week for some petty little thing that I did. I just learned to live with it. It’s not worth my time anyways and besides, it’s actually pretty funny when he blows up on me. It reminds me of a tiny Pomeranian trying to bite my toes. I started flipping through the book and said, “Hey, this actually has some pretty good points. Chapter 1 is about embracing how much of a jerk you are and chapter 2 is about apologizing.” My brother stormed over to me and whipped the book out of my hands. The book landed with a sad thud across the room. “You little turd. Why did I even let you stay with me?” I shrugged and simply said, “I guess you couldn’t let your reputation run into the gutter if people found out you didn’t let your brother stay with you because your brother did the best thing for himself by leaving his abusive girlfriend.” My brother stopped pacing and muttering to himself. “You didn’t tell me that. You just told me that your roommates bailed on you.” he said, utter shock draining into his face. It’s finally my turn to prove my point. I didn’t tell him directly initially since I was still grieving and trying to get over my girlfriend. It had been a rough couple of months, but I finally got it back together. I rolled my eyes and said, “My roommate was my girlfriend. Did that ever occur to you?” I started walking over to my brother. “She kept on calling me the exact words that you were calling me – dumbass, worthless, bitch, but she threatened to ruin my reputation if I ever left her. I was forced to call her my girlfriend, forced to kiss her, forced to make love with her and I finally got the courage to leave her and it cost me all of my friends. So, how do you feel after I told you all that? You’re no different than my ex, but I have to stay with you because you’re my brother.” Tears were streaming down both of our faces. My hands were shaking, but I shoved them deep into my pockets. “Family is forever.” I finally said. Without a word, he lounged at me. I thought he was going to smack me like he used to when we were little, but we’re not little anymore. I felt his arms wrap around me and he pulled me for a tight hug. We cried together and I heard him whisper, “I’m so sorry, bud. I’m here for you from now until forever.”

Unconfined Thoughts 32 – Let’s Talk About This

It’s a funny thing, depression. One moment, I’m curled under my fort I’ve created for myself and the next, I’m staring blankly at my notes as my professor inquires about ethics. I’ll show you ethics all right. We always make these neon “mental illness week” posters and plaster them all over the school and offering free ice cream just for people to show up when I still don’t feel comfortable mentioning the grand word, depression. There’s no end to this. Either you’re just a typical attention seeking whore who seriously knows nothing about mental illness or you are sincerely, definitely and truly sad and in need of your pity. What if, it’s more on the spectrum of, I feel highly pressed by all aspects of life and sometimes nothing and it hurts, it aches and sometimes, I want to die and it can happen to anyone – even the best of us. Yet, I celebrate every step I take out of bed, when I brush my teeth and whenever I smile because that’s another day I’m alive.

I cannot wait anymore. I’m not going to wait for a single week where I can feel like I “belong somewhere” or have the adequate awareness. I’m going to talk more about it. I will mention how gloomy I feel and having no idea why. I will talk about how watching my favorite movies, eating my favorite foods and even talking to my favorite people feel like a sinking stone in my stomach. I could cry, but all that does is make my pillow wet and my nights too long. I will talk about wanting to be blind, lose a limb or shattered into a million pieces just so my Mom can stop saying that “it’s something I have to deal with.” or hear people say that “I’m just an emotional person.” I sleep all the time or I can’t sleep at all. I want to order pizzas, tacos and noodles, but I just ended up feeling full after the first three bites, yet my stomach is grumbling. I will talk about the intense need for pure desire because I feel starved of it, but also carrying the malicious intent to destroy all I loved because as someone who is this broken, no one will ever be cherished. It sucks so much and I hate putting people I love in pain as they see me suffer. I’m depressed. Let’s talk about this.

The Desert | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you enjoyed reading my piece! Enjoy another odd Quick Piece Breakdown on a Wednesday!

The Desert

This is a super short piece. I wouldn’t even call it a short story since it’s definitely a flash fiction piece. It was one of those weeks where it was getting late and I was having difficulties forming an idea for a story. My solution for these moments would be to avoid all advice I read about defeating writer’s block and fill my mind with endless YouTube videos and unnecessary memes on Tumblr. This time, it worked – definitely a rare instance. I wasn’t looking at pictures of deserts or anything thirst provoking (except the need for a story). The opening line just came to me.  I felt the heat scorching my skin, but I kept walking. From there, I created a story about someone who decided to depart from home, somewhere that’s very comfortable to a place of uncertainty and unknowns. There’s obvious an atmosphere of, “What were you thinking?” but that’s the exact point. Oftentimes, we realize our greatest mistakes until the end and for this person, it was when they realized how unprepared they were and succumbed to the desert.

When that first line came to me, there was no way that the message came to me in that instance as well. I stuck to improving each individual sentence and the story slowly came to me. I really didn’t like the story when I wrote it, but based on the reception it has garnered, everyone else definitely enjoyed it. I think an important thing to writing especially with stories is to keep writing. If you don’t write, how are you a writer? Write from the most pained parts of yourself and write the most wonderful moments you witness. There’s no need to continue to be hung up on if your writing is “good enough”, “fit for the market” or “considered to be talent or skill”. It’s the fact that you created something!

Keep creating & thanks for reading!


The Desert | Quick Piece

I felt the heat scorching my skin, but I continued walking. It’s been a week since I left home and I’ve come across this desert. Leaving home wasn’t a big deal, but I knew that once I reached this desert, the fight for my life would begin. The water in my backpack sloshed and I made a mental note in my mind. Just about thirty minutes ago, I drank about 4 ounces of water, which is about a quarter of a standard water bottle. I’ve got 2 more water bottles. “Crap!” I muttered to myself. “I better save my water or else I’ll run out.” The sun was bearing down on me and I felt my sweat run down my back. I pictured a bunch of sweat droplets landing on the sand and quickly being dried up by the sun. It’s almost as if a little part of myself was journeying to meet the sun and going back to the Earth again. Nearly three hours later, my eyelids were drooping and I was down to the final couple ounces of water in my water bottle. I had stripped down to my underwear and wore my t-shirt on my head to absorb some sweat. I fell down to my knees and started regretting my decision to leave home. “You bastard desert!” I cried out while pounding the soft sand. “I thought if I could take you on, then my life would be easier!” I sobbed into the sand and the sand clung to every inch of me. I curled into fetal position and saw the orange desert horizon hugging the blue sky one more time before closing my eyes and whispering, “You can take me now, desert.”