razor ribbon

concertina wire, or razor wire or razor ribbon. all over our cities now. strung along cinderblock walls, steel fencing, the tops of buildings, between buildings, over construction billboards, over just about anything.

but always saying the same thing: back off.

"barbed" wire is named after its barbs, but many of the modern names ("concertina," "ribbon") are euphemisms hiding fear and anger.

(for some, barbed wire links to the "romance" of the American West--ranching, etc.--while for others it marks a line torn across openness and freedom of movement. The surveyor's smooth ruler-straight line, the Enlightenment in action, evolves into the wire's twists and spikes: life liberty and the pursuit of property penned.)

zigzag razor spears are the sons of barbed wire, sons on steroids.

glinting in the sun, razor ribbon makes a spiral helix coiling over urban surfaces. the helix as a weapon and a warning, carrying the code of the urban bunker zones.

bunker, in the belly of the bunker: the very name sounds like being hunkered down under a threat: cut out or be cut off.

razor ribbon: tying up what present?



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