“Oh, look, there, where the building was. That large claw thingy is piling the rebar like straw into a truck.”

“Indeed. First entropy was encouraged and now they’re putting things in some sort of order again.”

“So it goes. The building was built up – arriba, arriba – a concrete construction with rebar…”

“A visual barrier.”

“Well, yes, you may have found it rebarbative, but there it was. They smashed rocks and then rebuilt them; they were reborn as concrete, with reinforcing bar in the bargain.”

“To keep the concrete from crumbling?”

“Concrete is strong when you push it but weak when you pull it. Steel is strong when you pull it. And it expands and contracts with temperature changes about the same as concrete does.”

“So better rebar than rubber.”

“Rather. But now they’ve taken the air out of the building and broken its bones, and pulled the reinforcing bars out…”

“That Liebherr looks like a ballerina at a barre.”

“I think it’s a reaper. More grimy than grim, though.”

“It only took three machines to pull the building down. Now they have five picking through the rubble. They called for reinforcements.”

“It looks like Rome after the barbarians.”

“It’s been razed as by a barber. First it was raised, and now it’s rubble.”

“Crumbled. Rudera from a ruder era.”

“I think it was a cute building. Now it’s grave.”

“Now its grave is being robbed.”

“They’re steeling and baling, stealing and bailing.”

“Looks like branches from a wind-ravaged arbour.”

“Weetabix, baby.”

“Wonder why save it?”

“Probably a rebate.”

“Welp, looks like they’re packing it in.”

“Packing it into the truck and then booting off to the bar. Bye-bye.”

“And when this building has been buried? Will they bridge it to rebirth via the architectural Bardo Thodol?”

“Barring resistance, they’ll probably rebuild.”

7 responses to “rebar

  1. I’m put in mind of a poem I wrote a few years ago and never published:

    A patch of sidewalk speaks
    by James Harbeck

    Well, I was
    a rock, yes,
    I did that thing
    for a few million years.
    It was fun, it had
    a certain solidity to it,
    and you know how
    people think of rocks.
    It was good.
    But things change.
    And I’m not willing
    to say it was not
    for the better, or it was
    somehow not good;
    I think I’ve
    been opened to
    a whole new set of experiences,
    soles, paws, tires, papers.
    Where I was before,
    those trees, that grass, the other
    rocks, they can be peaceful, but
    it loses its fascination.
    Today every hour brings
    thousands of new fascinations.
    And I have new friends, we’re
    all in this together,
    a lot of us who
    did the rock thing back when
    (though it doesn’t seem
    so long ago, in
    the grand scheme of things).
    And I’m not kidding
    myself, I won’t be
    a rock again.
    So I have to accept it.
    Things change.
    What’s not to like?

  2. Is there a generic word for the large claw thingy that eats buildings? I have never been able to find one. Which is ridiculous, considering how common they are.

    • I’d like to know too. Oddly, I haven’t found a specific one yet. These ones are “cranes” made by Liebherr, so I woke up one morning with this in my head (to a tune from Cabaret):

      Goodbye from mein Liebherr,
      Bye-bye from mein Liebherr,
      There was a building there;
      They pushed it over.
      So goodbye from Liebherr,
      Oh, bye-bye from Liebherr,
      You will get by without that building there.

  3. All the thingies in my area are made by Komatsu. Suppose you would have to have a haiku for them:

    In the autumn rain
    Komatsu eats an old house.
    What will grow in spring?

  4. Speaking of rebar and construction, I finally found that old Looney Toons cartoon I talked about, with the kitten barely avoiding various mishaps. And there’s even an appearance by our old friend, the electromagnetic crane!

  5. Pingback: rebus | Sesquiotica

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