Cindy Sherman Nighttime Pop-Up Book / by Washington Square

Victoria Kornick

 

I’ll open it for you, its pull-tabs and pictures, Cindy Sherman dressed as a secretary,

detective, distressed damsel, half-nude or primly hatted—

 

but you don't know who Cindy Sherman is, so let's turn the page,

there’s still a bed, a window, a woman, but it’s my eyes the wig is slipping over,

 

I’m reclining, and you’re asking if it matters that she is beautiful. I say, yes, if necessary

for composition or concept. Though I don't know if you mean Sherman or some other woman,

 

or me. Pull tab, I’m in your bathroom, spit-fingering off smudges of mascara,

Cindy Sherman is taking down the long zipper in the back of her dress,

 

now it’s my dress, your fingers, and no one is taking the picture. Flip back.

There are many but not infinite combinations of leather and words, beds, windows, women,

 

pull tab, I’m making eye-contact with the camera, flip page, someone's cut out everything

but my eyes. Your hands, pull tab, turn down the bed. We're getting to it—move out of the frame.

 

Is this what you wanted, to touch the book but never appear?

Take the camera. Grease your fingers with Vaseline

 

and rub it over the lens to make a soft filter, which is beauty, a viscous material,

the wet version of light, what will be silver gelatin, collodion, paper or tin.

 

 

Victoria Kornick is a writer and teacher living in Brooklyn. She holds an MFA from New York University, where she was a Rona Jaffe and Goldwater fellow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cosmonauts AvenueLos Angeles Review of Books - VolubleNo Tokens Journal, and Print Oriented Bastards. You can reach her at victoria.q.kornick@gmail.com.