“Reclaiming My Yin and Yang”, a personal essay about my journey of seeking to understand my experience of neurodivergence and Madness. Published on Mad in America.

It doesn’t matter how I label my “condition.” What’s more important is that I understand my personal needs and tendencies and develop my ability to respond to challenging circumstances, whether they arise internally or externally. Rather than a taxonomy of the mind, I need a physics of my psyche.

from “Reclaiming My Yin and Yang”

Sound and Story: My Senior Thesis Recital, a Google Site that served as a digital program guide for my senior thesis recital in April 2023 at Haverford College. A collection of short essays delving into each of the works on the program and my personal connection to them.

As a performer and composer, I find music to be a powerful way for me to share my story with the world.  It is not just personal, but also political: in unabashedly narrating my own experiences, I fight for a world that is humane and liberating for all people.  

from the homepage of Sound and Story: My Senior Thesis Recital

“ ‘Kids lives’ don’t matter in an ageist society”, an opinion article written in response to Jim Worthington, the owner of Newtown Athletic Club and an avid Trump supporter, starting a parent group called Kids Lives Matter. Published as a neighbor post on Newtown Patch.

If “kids lives matter,” then why do you turn the other way when youth are targeted with racism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, etc. by classmates or even teachers at school, to the extent that they fear for their safety?

from “ ‘Kids lives’ don’t matter an in ageist society”

“In Time: Crisis, Care, Creation”, a reflection upon my virtual piano concert about the climate crisis, published on ClimateCultures.

The climate crisis is not just about nature, and the pandemic is not just about a virus. They are both manifestations of the greater plague of capitalism and of money-run politics: life-devaluing systems that if we — the united peoples of Earth — do not soon uproot will only cause even more death and irreversible destruction. Can we act — in time? Connected with our identities, our personal and collective histories, our individual and shared longings for the future, can we move the rhythms of our world and dance a variegated, syncopated, yet more harmonious tune?

from “In Time: Crisis, Care, Creation”

“The Sound of School”, written when I was a Student Voice High School Ambassador in the 2017-2018 school year. Published on the Student Voice Medium publication.

At my school, it rings a somewhat sharp G — a bright, penetrating, electronic sound punctuating 55-minute class periods and 5-minute segments of “passing time.” At yours, it might be be a flat D and a 45-minute class — or even a 90-minute with block scheduling — but the result is the same. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we are conditioned to the bell, shuffling our book-bags and shifting in our seats when it tolls despite the teacher’s insistence that she dismisses us, not it.

from “The Sound of School”

Warning: The following essays and/or publications refer to my deadname. Please still read the essays, just refer to me now by the correct name!

“Hands”, a personal essay originally written for an application to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, published on my personal Medium.

These are hands with flaws, with scar and injury. They are sensitive to the cold, sometimes losing circulation even when gloved against the frosty outdoors, yet they themselves shock with cold a hot, sweaty hand met in handshake. The pinkie of the left hand was broken by a too-hard ball in a seventh-grade physical education class, the day before a piano audition. Therapy restored its function but left a slight crook and twist in form.

No matter, I say; I shall be an artist not of appearance, but of action.

from “Hands”

“To My Alma Mater”, my final article for the school newspaper of Council Rock High School North.

Council Rock has trained me to pose questions and seek answers yet never to be satisfied with the answers I am merely given.  If my alma mater has nourished like a mother my introspections and psychological growth, it has not been with honey-cream, but a pungent-spiced spiritual milk. 

from “To My Alma Mater”


My refrigerator magnet poem “underwater breathing” was published in the anthology dreamland of fifth wheel press.

My poems, “diaspora”, “farewell”, and “pride” have been published on the blog of fifth wheel press.

Check out my refrigerator magnet poetry turned into sound pieces: rainbow mirror upon the cooling box

Cover image for the refrigerator magnet poetry sound pieces. It is a grayscale image of a refrigerator. The phrase “rainbow mirror upon the cooling box” is spelled out using Magnetic Poetry word magnets. Below that is the word magnet “by,” followed with the name “margin zheng” written in black expo marker. Underneath all that is “copyright 2021” written in black expo marker.

Here are more of my poetry!

the mathematician
(2) mappings,
(3) permutings,
(5) patterns free-mingling
(7) on the page of the poet
(11) of Number. ‘tis the heartbeat of Heaven she
(13) craves to feel – resonances – to hear – harmonies – to
(17) see – beauties lost like children in the city swamp of lights and shuffling
(19) feet kicking the pavement never gazing upwards in fear their genius would burst
(23) free of the benumbing thuds of concrete and whisk them away to-wards infinities primal…

This poem was published in volume 9 of Writes of Passage (Bucks County’s annual anthology of high school poetry) as well as on JoAnne Growney’s blog Intersections – Poetry with Mathematics (dead name warning).

the hand that has hacked meat
that has felled oaks for firewood
that has caught spit-coated baseballs with a worn-down mitt
that has hurled fistfuls of snow at a sunny New Year’s sky
that has stroked the fevered cheek of a dying child
that has smashed window-glass with burning, bloodied rage
that has shot the rabid hound that nearly bit a toddler


the hand that has painted watercolors
that has fluttered on the keys of a flute
that has brushed the luscious mane of a beloved mare
that has tossed tarnished pennies into the fountain of wishes
that has penned impassioned sonnets that fell on loveless ears
that has fingered a bottle of painkillers on a near-desperate night
that has served the soup that nourished a homeless mom-to-be

sending tremors to the Earth.

A Fresh Breath
Hark, the chill rustling of chlorophyll sheets,
the leaves of Nature’s Bible.
Her true cantabile whisper – raspy
with influenza of industry – I thinks returns,
phantom but full-felt quiver of air
clasping, caressing our flutter of existence.
The gentle breeze of lyricism,
the jarring gust of chromaticism – both
in one breathtaking breath of Mother Earth – neither caught whole heart in spirit of Man, save
a momentary letter, a transient note
that makes us know!

Shh! can you hear
the time-touched tune of anima ancestral? We, overtones in the wind’s soulful timbre. We, Nature, with Man just one sweet pitch. A fresh inventive Dissonance enriched in harmonies old.

Hark, the sublime song of Life,
a scherzo celebration of air.
Inhale, exhale. Find we holy
Aspiration in natural
Respiration – coaxed to Conscious
by the wind – stimulated –
transcending caffeine and drug and sugar heights
– liberating real for the chorus of
Beautiful Truth!

A version of this poem was published in Writes of Passage (Bucks County’s annual anthology of high school poetry), volume 8, as well as in Teen Ink’s print magazine (Oct. 2017) and on its website.