I have always been fascinated by the armored utility pole. That’s a wooden cylinder – lights, power, telephone – that has been used as a guerrilla bulletin board for so long, had so many handbills stapled to it, that it has become covered in steel. You see these in the cool, hip neighborhoods – places with a lot of bars and live music. Places where folks run along with staple guns and stacks of freshly printed band flyers and click… click, there’s another one.
It’s generally illegal and the streets department takes them down… but look at the poles.
What is the ultimate end of this? Can a pole have so many staples in it that there can be no more shot in? The accretion of metal – the slow sculpting – the combination of nature and man-made steel violence… it’s life in a nutshell, posted up there for everyone to see.
Here’s one I saw the other day. A pole densely festooned with staples – then a big chunk is taken out by a careening car – a collision hard enough to split of a healthy sliver but not enough to take down the pole. The fresh wood is exposed and, soon enough, the staples start reproducing. In a year or so the wound will be completely healed.