Steel Creosote and Pine

The telephone poles in your cozy little home neighborhood are festooned with flyers for garage sales, lost pets, and maybe a high school cheerleader car wash.

Telephone Pole, Deep Ellum, Texas

Telephone Pole, Deep Ellum, Texas

This, however, is Deep Ellum and the wooden poles aren’t decorated… they are armored. The solid steel coating… the Staple Mail, as it were… comes from one source. Band Flyers. Lots of Band Flyers. Decades of Band Flyers.

How long do they stay here? I guess pretty much forever. The real Renaissance of Deep Ellum happened in, say 1982 or so (when I moved to Dallas and started going down there to the Prophet Bar and Theater Gallery) so I suppose some of these are over thirty years old.

See that one staple a third of the way down? Yeah, that one. That’s from an old concert by MC900 Foot Jesus. Below it is one by Reverend Horton Heat. That old, rusty one at the bottom… New Bohemians (featuring Edie (Eatme) Brickell). There’s TimBuk3 and Mo Jo Nixon and True Believers. Don’t forget the Butthole Surfers with Grinding Teeth opening. The Loco Gringos left one behind. There’s one from The Blasters and another by Joe Christ and the Healing Faith. Of course there’s a shiny new one for Home by Hovercraft and a bunch of them from Brave Combo shows.

(yes, these are all shows that I have actually seen in Deep Ellum)

On and on. Think about it… every one of these staples (and the thousands you don’t see, they go all the way around, from knee high to ten feet in the air) represent a music show at a Deep Ellum Club sometime. That’s a lot of music. That’s a lot of memories. That’s a lot of steel hammered into creosote and pine.

Deep Ellum, Texas

Deep Ellum, Texas

Staples

Texas Sculpture Garden
Frisco, Texas

And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…
—- Milton, Office Space

Staples
Paul Kittelson, Houston
2001 Stainless Steel

Staples, Paul Kittelson

Staples, Paul Kittelson

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

Staples, Paul Kittelson

Staples, Paul Kittelson

“The gods are strange. It is not our vices only they make instruments to scourge us. They bring us to ruin through what in us is good, gentle, humane, loving.”
― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

Staples, Paul Kittelson, photograph manipulated in Corel Painter

Staples, Paul Kittelson, photograph manipulated in Corel Painter

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”
― Charles Bukowski