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12.08.01 12:46 a.m.

The fun of talk is to find out what a man really thinks and then contrast it with the enormous lies he has been telling all dinner and, perhaps, all his life.

 -Benjamin Disraeli  

This Entry Features: Haiku, snow, The Granddaughters, the Archangel Leirbag, adulthood, PSU and cults

A Series of Haiku

i love emily
she smells like fruit loops often
break fast eat fruit loops

her lips are like
small exotic flower beds
they feel like orchids

tongue probes oranges
sliced twain twice, triangle parts
like words unspoken

i shower greek
so says spaz, best friend lover
showering roman

we dart through city
hand in hand heart in blush lips
world faded vibrant

i once knew a girl
who laughed rivulets of gold
like ramen noodles

i can write haiku
about pygmy chinchillas
fluffy mouse pillow

bees possess strange hooves
good heaven the toad says now
they'll trample roses

in new paltz i met
heretical angel lass
dry heart beat anew

wiccan warrior
battling ignorance well
formed eloquence

not just for smushing
bodies entwined like the norse
fantasy realized

So, are we all quite clear that I am in deep smit with this girl? I am possessed with a force that makes me write irreverent and romantic ancient Chinese verse. At least I'm not rhyming, which would indeed be a curse.
Oh, fuck.

White Powder That Is Neither Illegal Nor Lethal
I am under the burden of the first snow of the season.
Oh, damn, it seems I am actually kind of... festively happy about this. Not that it cancelled my plans with M and Melissa tonight, because I needed that relaxation after my hard three hours at the library.
I blame a very happy childhood. I have these Pavlovian reactions to seeing snow on the ground, as though it will still cancel any prospect of school for me. Given that it is Saturday night and I do not have class until Monday, this is just a malenky bit irrational.
Oh, but I look at it and I want to bundle up and sleigh ride all day. And throw snowballs. And build a snow fort (I used to make amazing snow forts). I think I want to recapture that and there is no reason not too.
Evidently, I am pleased that it is snowing. I hate the cold. More so because it will drive Emily into being more tightly bundle than an Inuit and complaining when the temperature drops below 55 degrees. But hot chocolate! And candy canes!
Clearly I am losing my wits.

Those Who Watch
This library gig has its storytelling perks, you know. I imagine most people conceive of libraries and the corresponding work that goes into them as inherently boring. And it very well may be. But my library is a few blocks from a mental institution and is inner city. As such, we get frequent vagrants, delinquents, patients, and the other sundry unusual elements.
When I was working on Wednesday, part of the gang that mugged me, The Granddaughters (perks of learning Spanish is that I figured out what their tag actually meant, something I am sure they never did), came in. I glared daggers at them and they caught on, and left. Had they not, I was wholly authorized to dial the police and have them removed. Of course, I would remind the officer that I thought I had a residual restraining order against them. It may not be true, but it will be looked into and will keep them busy a little longer.
Today, one of our usual patrons came in. I will call him Leirbag for reasons that seem perfectly good to me. He was a bit "off," but looked no different than any of the other patrons that come in off the street. Hispanic gentleman, probably no older than thirty, with very blue eyes and a camo jacket. While I was assisting him in "borrowing" a computer for half an hour, he kept giving me an odd look. I thought very little of it, given that I have to deal with homeless women who urinate on our furniture and men who threaten to blow up the nearby gas station. After this man left, my co-worker whispered to me that he was the Archangel. I raised my eyebrows at this designation, as he did not seem like a member of the Assisted Care Facility (aka mental institution). She explained that this man comes in and tried to recruit students, mainly women, telling them that he is a martial arts expert and a literal angel. I raised my eyebrows to startling new heights at this and decided that I had to inform my loyal readers of this development. Maybe I'll have some fun.
It turns out that this is a real job. I am not merely a peon, you see. I am not making minimum wage at a place without any consideration for possible advancement. No no. I have underlings. On Wednesday, it was made my duty to inform the pages (as in, teenagers who perform tasks for nominal monetary recompense, not 8" by 11" sheets of bleached, processed, wood pulp) of the tasks set out for them that night. They actually approached me as though I were a responsible adult of some sort, seeking correction and clarification. It occurred to me that maybe, perhaps I was supposed to be regarded as such. I can't be certain, however. Extensive test will need to be run immediately. I assume that I have the full financial support of the AMA, APA, IRS, and PBS?

Emily and I informally decided that we no longer wished to be associated with PSU and what they represent, despite all the attempts at whitewashing with dry paint. As I have covered, I find them crude, rude, willfully ignorant, and, if I may paraphrase Philip Roth, "bad for Pagans." All of this was cemented for Emily this week when she overhead and interrupted a conversation among non-members about PSU. A girl said, and I am reconstructing this quote entirely from memory so I may be slightly inaccurate, "Yeah, this is a really liberal campus, which is cool. But, like, there is this club on campus called PSU, right? They are disgusting. My friend tried to go to one of their meetings and they grabbed her hand and licked it. No wonder no one considers them a real club!" Emily broke in explaining that she gets pretty pissed off that the behavior of this band of miscreants ends up as ammunition against Pagans in general, most of who are smart enough to not want to get involved with PSU. She does have an excellent point, as I have been privy to much the same sorts of conversations.
What made my decision hard enough to write an incisive letter on one of their scribing mirrors (why the hell people who can't even see what is around them invest in products to see the future I do not care to know) was a brief conversation I shared with a member of the group. Some background: I had just left my Shakespeare class. During the course of the class, someone asked if there were still people who worshiped the Greek gods. I, of course, knew all about it (Wicca, Greek Reconstructionism, etc.) but saw little reason to open my mouth. I had already identified the mythological origins of several of the names of the months and days and had little interest in earning the scorn of my classmates. My teacher rambled on about how backwoods people on every continent show vestiges of old religions, blah blah blah awkward philosophy cakes. A girl in my class forcefully pronounced that Dianic Wiccans were very much committed to Diana and many Wiccan paths followed other Greek and Roman deities. I smiled slightly, glad that someone else knew about this sort of matter in my class. My teacher mumbled out that witchcraft isn't something people should play with, pronounced that it was not a religion, and reminded the class that many ritual murders happen every year. My corner of the room looked at me, grinning at his temerity. One does not publicly bash a religion as a teacher if one wishes to be viewed in high regard. Imagine him saying such a thing about the Jews and tell me he should not have kept his prejudiced views to himself. All I did was smirk at him, point a finger, and croak "lizard!" The people around me tittered at my use of humor to defuse this situation. I shall, of course, lodge a complaint. I have 25 witnesses, after all.
Anyway, back to PSU hatred. After relating the preceding anecdote to M's voicemail, I was greeted by a member of PSU with whom M and I had no quarrel. She seemed pleasant enough. I walked with her to her teacher's office, repeating my tale. She interjected a rant against the woman before I could explain that this lass had defended Paganism. I was a bit off-put, as this seemed to me clawing for misunderstanding. When I finished, she stated that the president of PSU and she were going to get rid of all the "politics" that are ruining PSU. What politics would these be? Last I checked, trying to sexually assault (and, yeah, kissing and licking people against their will qualifies as sexual assault) every interested party that walked through the doorways did not qualify as political. Deciding to shun people who decide PSU isn't for them isn't exactly political but it is counterproductively stupid. While appointing oneself to a ruling role and doing a corrupt job of it is political, it is currently the system the rules PSU.
In addition, this girl spoke as one brainwashed. It was plain to see that she was fairly new to the path, which is fine. We all must start somewhere and build our foundations. I feel that PSU is preying upon those who are shaky enough in their faith that they can be manipulated. Given that I recently finished The Embrace: A True Vampire Story, I am rather wont to consider these cult tactics. Next thing you know, freshman will be oathbound by an executive board that thinks Dion Fortune was a singer in the seventies that shills for phone psychics now.
As I do not agree with the actual morals, message, ideals, and methods of PSU, I cannot in good conscience attend their meetings. Yes, this will carry onto next semester, as this one is drawing to a close. I cannot bleed for them, they would not listen if the deities they profess to honor employed a cosmic bull horn.

Soon in Xenology: I hang out with Zack and Melissa. Perhaps not at the same time. I see the inside of Sarah's apartment and hope that she is the girl I grew to love. I have a birthday. The semester ends. I visit the city. I entrance you in a freak show. Perhaps another riff on cults.

last watched: The Matrix
reading: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates Tom Robbins
listening: "For Nancy" from Musicforthemorningafter by Pete Yorn
wanting: No, I still want that damned computer in my room.
interesting thought: "You can't bend the spoon. That's impossible. You have to realize the truth... there is no spoon."
moment of zen: writing haikus when
the clock strikes twelve of midnight
dong dong dong dong thrice

someday I must: have a four digit bank account

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.

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