Nurturing Narratives

Not long after the death of my grandfather (爷爷/爺爺), my family resumed its familiar tradition. When both my grandparents were alive, my parents, my sister and me would be regularly treated to dinner at their home, where we’d enjoy the familial and communal experience of eating together and watching television. The stark difference now was […]

Keep Smiling

I’ll never forget the smile of my grandmother (po po/婆婆). Her soft, inviting grin greeted me every time I visited her with my parents and sister. Po Po always seemed excited to see us, but she expressed her excitement with a modesty that few people could perceive or appreciate outside of the family. Her excitement […]

Mafan

Mafan. 麻烦 or 麻煩 in Simplified and Traditional Chinese, respectively. Meaning: trouble; troublesome; a bother, a thorn in one’s side.  Mafanwas one of the first Chinese words I learned as a child. My grandmother (maa maa / 嫲嫲 / nai nai /  奶奶) would utter the word several times throughout the day when I stayed […]

Wild Turkey

My father was one who best understood the shy verse of sawdust and steel.When he did speak, after aged bourbon by the charred pepper glow of campfire, his words would bring dryness to the dark, the way engine-oiled machine parts are ordered and arranged under the tongue. I listened. More than he knew. I saw how his words had shapes, how some of them circled through the air, […]

A Scene from Cumberland Bay

Before his sister could budge him out of the way,Mendon climbsdown the rabbit hole to a window in the stars where everything worth  seeing is hidden inside a half-devoured pine cone. George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, The Angle at St. John Fisher […]