“Contro Verse 3” and “Executive Presentation”

Poetry by Philip Kienholz

Contro Verse 3

moose at the forest edge

cross the meadow in the sun

munching browse little trees

head up sniffing on the breeze

easy easy ecotone easy

filament barnacle billabong

troubadour trouble away

letting the big moose speak

his turn came yester-fore-day

"Our" government removes protections from navigable waters. We remove

that government in election. "Our" new government keeps

its same non-protection regimes.

If we let the waters speak

how will the government learn to listen, when the waters can only say

as much as we agree to hear, if the waters only hear

what we say to them in common prayer?

hermit monk called to the royal court

bamboo flute pulled from under their robe

played a single note that began softly

built volume slowly to a fully vibrating wooden tube

then faded as a bird flying toward the horizon —

as a fish or bird swimming into

oily orchestral chaos

Industry, they tell me, builds useful products, makes jobs

with good pay. But in any market I can see plastic crap

from China that will disappoint and fall apart way too soon.

Cheap goods as a sideline to profits? — what industry becomes;

workers' lives traded for profits? — what industry becomes

when wealth sees its role — to fuck itself furiously in usurious

abuse — procreating more wealth, for only itself.

crazy, the heart scatters gold dust to the wind,

accumulated mounds passed all around the room

all around the town

the round world too

Blasphemy profane, idiots' nonsense, irresponsible dream.

Ephemeral March, April, May, passing spring when Jesus returns

in the long moment of forgiving grace,

struggling free from systems of belief —

to see the year growin greensward

and bower, wind-blown leaf, bumblefly, bee, pollen and flower

count the lovers two by two

eons of dew drops

count the stars count the trees

connecting reflecting

Executive Presentation

the polished shell of identity cracks open

mediated by mendacious accomplices

a raw egg-like flow fluidly seeps out

under the television lights

grasping at newsprint and the crackling instant

his criminal gang sops up the goo

squeezes it back into broken visage

will he speak?

does enbridge pump gas?

does police weaponry rule the imperial streets?

behind the crew's sheltering backs

the executive smoothes out his inflammatory tie

sticks a fractured illusion of self

together with styptic pencil and toilet tissue patches

as if mere scratches on a limousine’s glossy finish

teleprompter's automated speech flipping sentences

discourse slurred by brain farts

welter of fatuous lies unpackable for reckoning

the public presentation proceeds

prepared script calls for improvised rant

is it from the depths of consciousness?

or failure psychopathic within the machine?

askant we stand

entranced by performative virtue

each an empericist asking

why be blindly addicted

by exploiting images

falling out in continuous stream

About the Author

Philip Kienholz

Philip Kienholz is a Buddhist lay monk who practices permaculture and is politically active on climate change. He has published two chapbooks, and a book: Display: Poems. Recent poetry is at unpsychology, The Halcyone Literary Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Whirlwind, The Windsor Review, and forthcoming at Genre: Urban Arts.