Notes From the Ant Empire: Babyface

The dog days of summer are upon us.

I typed this while the sun burned through the grime-stained window of my hovel and melted the keys. The plastic letters stuck to my fingers, so later that day I walked around with words attached to my fingers and palms; words that didn’t make any sense so when I showed people my hands, they meekly shrugged at me.

Furdkolp basmblebod.

“Sorry, pal, can’t help you.”

If there’s one early memory we all share, whether we’re aware of it or not, is of trying to communicate something of great importance and only being able to wail. All the words we knew sounded like the ones stuck to my hand. They made sense to no one but ourselves.

Gobbledegook. Jabberwocky.

There’s something tragic about that — the trials of infants — the miscommunication that results in an adult staring down at you in the crib making their face into funny shapes while you’re pleading for some milk, for someone to free you from sitting in your poop; while you’re hollering about the existential rapture you’ve experienced, being shoved from the womb into this world of immediate want and need, “god dammit, I feel like I’m going to hurl, someone burp me!”, some bozo is holding their ears forward and puffing up their cheeks, grunting like a gorilla.

Like you even know what a gorilla is.

“That’s why I’m a poet, babyface.”

I’m still struggling to get people to understand me.

I still have the same complaints as infants.

Their eternal wail.

I don’t like it here. It’s too bright. Why am I’m alone? It’s too cold. I miss the good old days where everything was soft and cared for and warm. Where the sound of a heartbeat is the only sound I heard but the only one I needed, the most beautiful lullyby.

It was the sound of life and love as one.


Talk about an unfortunate incarnation, to be one of Michael Vick’s pit bulls. Bad News Kennel, appropriately named, is an example of humanity at its worst. What a pitiful and unnecessary plot turn his biography just underwent.

But fuck Michael Vick! Those poor clueless dogs…

What did the pit bulls know about their executioner? Not the blazing speed, or the rifle of his arm? His mansion, his American dream, was their prison and hell. They didn’t know the glory of the man outside their cages, readying the ropes.

But they were just dogs though, right?

I have no sympathy for the quarterback’s downfall, in fact, I’m pleased. The one good thing from the recent orgy of celebrity scandals and disgrace is that the stranglehold of idol worship that held this nation dumbfounded is starting to weaken.

O.J. Michael Jackson. Bill Clinton. Robert Blake. Paris Hilton. Britney. Chris Benoit. Barry Bonds.

Michael Vick.

It’s a chorus of fallen heroes, an analogy for modern times. The lesson: money and fame does not equate merit, nor assure happiness.

A recent poll attests to this lesson reaching the kids of America.

The survey of the nation’s young people found only 1% name money as the thing that gives them the most joy. Twenty percent name spending time with family, and 15% cited friends.

Yet financial issues are among several problems atop the pile of things they say make them most unhappy. And while a majority are happy with the amount of money they and their families have, money ranks as their fourth-highest source of stress, and 55% say there are many things they can’t afford.

We’re coming around to the idea that C.R.E.A.M doesn’t rule everything around us. There’s a quiet awareness that all of this excess can’t endure forever. There’s something deeper, more meaningful.

Regardless, we’re still under the influence of its demands; bills, needless things, keeping up appearances, etc, bloody etcetera. That’s the true tragedy: to knowingly waste your life working a job you hate for shit you don’t really need.

To not even consider the other option is a foolish sacrifice the overwhelming majority of us make — the material trappings of this golden age rain down like low-interest confetti, shopping malls are nothing but giant roach motels — even I partake in the feast, I buy books like Bradley Nowell bought bags of heroin.

The thing is, it’s not like there isn’t another option.

I’m going to be a writer one day. I’m going to get those words out bright and clear. I’m going to live the life I want. If not, I’ll get them out dark and muddled. Until then, I have artofstarving.

If you want to surf all day and serve beers at night, do it. If you want to be an artist, buy some paint. You want unicorns, start gluing horns to horses. Don’t feel obligated to follow in mom and pop’s footsteps. You have your own shoes to wear.


Damn, nature is a tricky bird.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Pounded and strained by heavy traffic and weakened by missing bolts and cracking steel, the failed interstate bridge over the Mississippi River also faced a less obvious enemy: pigeons.

Inspectors began documenting the buildup of pigeon dung on the span near downtown Minneapolis two decades ago. Experts say the corrosive guano deposited all over the Interstate 35W span’s framework helped the steel beams rust faster.

Shit piles up on the bridge, kids
you think you can walk under it?


There is a 84 year-old man still rolling his Model A ’round town. The first car he ever owned. A romantic sentiment is behind the longevity.

Mr. Curtiss said he was 15 in 1938 when he bought the car, which sold for $400 when new, from a Derby man for $10. It was during the Depression.


Mr. Curtiss also has a strong emotional attachment to the car. He met his wife, Dorothy, shortly after he bought it, when he was 17 and she was 14; they had been married 56 years when she died in 1998. The initials they carved on the steering wheel as teenagers can still be seen. “She was the first and only girl I ever kissed in the car,” he said. “It’s priceless because of that, as far as I’m concerned.”

If this guy can make his car last seventy years we should be able to do a better job taking care of ours. I drive a 1988 Volvo, and before this little article thought that was a feat of endurance. The old boat runs pretty good. The bar was previously removed from the steering wheel so at the top it’s hollow and soft and I can twist and squeeze it like a stress bag when stuck in traffic. My name is also etched into its body, in the hood, although romance is not behind that sentiment but whiskey.

It’s time we look at the big picture.


Sometimes a flash of light in the shadows of the room is only that; a flash of light in the shadows of the room.


3 thoughts on “Notes From the Ant Empire: Babyface

  1. We should spend our time trying to be happy, and not as much time working trying to get money to spend. Is that your pint? Anyway the story about the car reminded me that I was about to buy it off you. Well it still seems like a good deal but I found a better one– free! You should be seeing me driving THE WHITE BRONCO in about a week.

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