Wolverine Stew: Swimming

Sometimes I feel like life is

Breathing in


Breathe it out quick

Get your work done

In lights that feel

Far dimmer than

You remember

Sinking away from the surface

Breathing in


Breathe it out quick

And hope the woods can

Cure every wrongness in your





I know the red leaves should

Make me happy

So why am I still

Breathing in


Breathe it out quick

The leaves float

Higher than I can move

My frozen lungs

In a cold lake

I don’t want to

Go back

I don’t want to

Go back

I don’t want to

Breathing in


Breathing in


Breathing in

Wolverine Stew: Light

The orange-tinted western sky patterned with wisps of clouds

The fronts of rushing cars and trucks in the streets below

The windows of brick and steel buildings that I walk past

The waxing white moon above that can’t be captured by camera

The lamps that glimmer and shine in the dark and overtake my eyes

The intermittent yellow blinks of fireflies I hold in my palm

The strings of electrical white that illuminate a Toronto tapestry

The neon blue and melting wax of the lamp I brought with me

The monitor screen I write this on in the comforts of my room

All of them lighten my burden with their glow

Wolverine Stew: Painted Mountain

There is a deep rolling green at the

Base surrounding a small, clear lake, where

If you tilt your head to listen to the ground, you can see

How the waters make a still reflection

Of the perfect circle of leaves to each tree

The lake is fed by streams of thawed lightning

Coming down from the grey clouds that are

The gold-wood upper borders of this world

I wonder if there is a peak

The greens meld together on the mountain

Unsure whether to be trees or grass or moss

But there is a gentle slope to it all

One to get closer to, to walk and rest at one’s own pace

And maybe you will cross that rainy border of the world

Into some vast sky, blue and shining

But me, I am content here at the base

Wrapped in green reflections and that thought

Of going just a little further up each day

Wolverine Stew: Arboretum in Autumn

Shining dried leaves of gold coins

Cool but not cold, crisp but not desiccating

Sky painted over with light, pale strokes

Sanguine ivy creeping through bark skin

Nestled past the graveyard encircled by hawks

As the last of the bees gather 

Wooden fairy house staged from sticks and latched with leaves

Hushed hill of degrading green

The sun still hangs above, yet the crickets chirp

Wilting daisies and remnants of Black-eyed Susans

Squirrel waits by the amphitheater for a concert I suppose

Dry lake of reeds and towering Queen Anne’s lace 

Brush your hand over them to hear the waves

Or wait for Eurus to kindly produce them

Snapdragons swim in shallower parts

Sandy coasts of stampedes surround the waters

I can hear mechanical echoes on the empty railroads

I wonder what their destination is

Never have I found a stiller willow

The Spanish graffiti says “you are my world”

Is it rustling leaves or something else beneath this creaking bridge?

Logs long-covered in lichen

There’s a forest of stinging nettles

I can see gold reach toward the sky

As I exit towards the graveyard 

Wolverine Stew: Happy Halloween!

My nights this time of year are made of

Home-made cemeteries and their hundred lights

Laughing in the forest made of

Bony twenty-sided dice

The candy corn tree and strings

(both web and metal)

Of an open mic echoing in halls I once walked

My own breath becoming fog in

The lamplit snow falling as we passed out candy from

An antique plastic pumpkin

Watching together as skeletons dance in gourds

Every porch lined with grinning faces

Their night-sky mold interior lit by electric candles

The sky clearing just in time to see the Hunter’s

Moon hanging in those last moments of running

In the dark, in my mask, in the cold, content

I will wish everyone I know and those I pass

That feeling of being at home in all this

My ideal is to be a worm-infested caramel apple

Hoping to be sickly sweet and full of life

Sometimes I worry I make a ghost of myself

But tonight, I get to come back

And this time, I’ll remain a little longer  

Wolverine Stew: The Uncanny

I was born deep in the valley

To a mother who loved mountains

And a father who longed for the coasts 

I loved to venture out when I was young

And be with people in the sunlight

But my smile is always a bit too short

My eyes always a bit out of position

My reactions always a bit off cue

My phrases always looped like a record

My frame always stretched and looming

My walk always pointed and crooked

My name always unconnected to anything 

My presence always a bit unexpected 

I laugh at static to laugh at something

I live for stages to feel at home

I watch the world spin and want to spin with it

Maybe you see past the mask I craft

I certainly do, but I’m still not sure

What exactly is supposed to be underneath

I spent so long studying what might be there

But all I know I have is skin 

Fitted forever over an unknown 

But whatever might be there

I hope it’s something nice

Something that makes people happy

Something that’s close enough to human 

That would be nice

Please be patient with me

I’m learning how to be a person