Notes From the Ant Empire: I Am Their Giant Lord

I was walking to the store today to buy a pair of scissors. Don’t ask why I needed the scissors, you don’t want to know, but I was walking because I’m on a quest to see how many days I can go without driving in L.A, while I’m between jobs. My little one-man revolution.

I just started today.

On my little mini-walkabout, I passed this peculiar sign.

I felt like removing the dangling placard at the bottom and wearing it around my neck, walking to the store with that proudly bouncing on my chest.

Then I thought against it. Maybe it’s a little too on-the-nose, as they say here in Hollywood.

That would seem a little needy.


Am I the only one that thinks John McCain’s daughter is kinda hot? I try not to because she’s the spawn of the enemy, but, you know, um… she just is.

I can’t help it.  

And, in a way, it’s kind of a turn-on, the fact that she is McCain’s daughter. The forbidden fruit tastes sweetest, I guess.

Here she is drinking a Bud.

The Primary is coming to an anti-climatic end. Today. Thank God.

I’m just glad it’s over. I’m looking forward to seeing Obama take on McCain, the debate that will unfold, and more of Meghan McCain. I heard Republican women are freaky. 


In other news, I finished a short story tonight.

It’s called The 8-Ball. It’s about a pool player named Bumbles Barry.

I look at the collection of files, those familiar Word icons we all know and love, that represent my life’s work to this point, seperated into appropriately named folders, and I know that I’m creating something here, that I’m building — but sometimes it feels more like I’m digging.

Or tunneling.

This is an ant in my ant farm. Rhoda.

My little Ant Empire.

I am their Giant Lord.

In the instructions it reminds you, in case you’re naming them, that they’re all females. There should be a warning attached that if you’re naming all your ants you need to get out more often.

I’ve only named one of them, thank you.

What’s my point?

Oh yeah, writing is kind of like digging a tunnel into your mind. Excavating out the raw material, snooping around like Geraldo in Capone’s vault, seeing what’s down there. Life is just one big mass of dirt and it’s up to artists to carve little tunnels for us to travel through it.


And who’s to say that removing matter isn’t creating empty space, building nothing out of something?


I’m going camping this weekend.

Campfire. Tents. Hiking poles. North Face.  The whole deal. I’m trying to find a spot far from light pollution. It’s getting harder and harder to accomplish that. I’m thinking Eastern Sierras.  

The stars are slowly disappearing from the sky.

I can’t help but be saddened by this and wonder how many splendid mythologies we’re losing along with them. Think of the wonderment you felt looking at the sky and seeing it filled with a million worlds you knew were so many light years away that they could have already exploded long before you were ever born, and feeling the Earth rotate for the first time by watching it happen overhead in the Milky Way. All that wonderment you felt as a kid, and still do, what will happen to it when the stars are gone and the sky is nothing but a black sheet over the Earth? Or worse, a smoggy blanket of refracted urban light. The smear of billboards and streetlamps upon the heavens.

What will happen to the luck from a falling star when no one can see it?


I wrote a collection of poems called Stunted Wonderment back in 01′.

Here’s an excerpt from one of them.

It’s like the donut is nothing without the hole.
The donut is the hole.
To think, I live for this.
My large intestine can wrap around the world
But I just want to put my arms around you.
While the sun sets in lethal doses
I dream of wild horses… taking me… away.
Every twitch, every neurotransmitter switch
Every kick, every crackjunky fix
is a crackling campfire for the Gods.
They all ran off with the wild horses so baby…
Don’t mean to be graphic
But you’re the hole for my donut.
You’re the whole donut.
You’re the glint of something good
in my bad boy eye.

There’s more. Most of it’s this bad.

I put pictures of mountains and lakes and dilapidated barns next to the poems. I ran off exactly one copy at Kinkos and proudly proclaimed myself the author of a collection of poems called Stunted Wonderment, obviously still do.

Come to think of it, it’s not all that different than what I do here…

I hope I’ve gotten a little better with the prose, though.

To think, I actually once wrote…

Life is a sweaty set of balls the Gods play pocket pool with.


3 thoughts on “Notes From the Ant Empire: I Am Their Giant Lord

  1. Walking in LA?
    Nobody walks in LA.
    Only a nobody walks in LA.

    don’t you know walking is out, and hybrids and smart cars are in?

    and you’ll need a vehicle to drive your ass out of the city if you’re going camping!

    meghan is a hotty. but don’t condemn her for the sins of her father!

    i want one of those ‘i’m gorgeous inside’ signs too. maybe i’ll just print it on a t-shirt. yeah, that’s it!

    how to do you tell rhonda apart from her co-workers?

  2. “Only a nobody walks in LA.”
    — I resembled that remark!

    “don’t you know walking is out, and hybrids and smart cars are in?”
    — already there.

    “and you’ll need a vehicle to drive your ass out of the city if you’re going camping!”
    — not if I make my wife drive!

    “how to do you tell rhonda apart from her co-workers?”
    –I don’t. Just whichever ant I’m looking at at the moment becomes Rhoda. That makes it easy.

  3. I enjoyed your thoughts on writing. Nothing out of something. Hmm. Have you read Paul Bowles? “Nothing” can be starkly beautiful.

    Speaking of starkly beautiful, camping, and light pollution…. I recently needed a lot of nothing so I went out to the Mojave and then to Joshua Tree for a week with a buddy. The sky is quite dark in the Mojave. Forget Joshua Tree; the western sky is aglow.

    Check your calendar and pick a moonless night: you will learn why it’s called the Milky Way.

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