At the Museum of Modern Art

Photography’s third floor, the brochure

Announcing pioneer artists and old

Prints of the liquid labial school –

Albumen silver, gelatin silver.

Turning a corner, you’re stopped dead

By Eugene Cuvelier: Will, in a bare

Wind-tangled tree – who knew

They were saying everything in 1860?

And by Auguste Belloc, whose sitter, unnamed,

Presents nevertheless with pride and attitude.

In ’99, Gertrude Kasebier

Speaks of attitude and self and hope,

As after her White, Modotti, Albers,

And Ilse Bing, if you can believe it, in the 30’s.

For perspective, the curators include Cygnus

By the Henry brothers, Paul and Prospere:

Star-spatter, lightyears wide,

Shot to correct our relentless spin,

No sliding lines of time trace

But points of light stock still –

Each like a faint magnesium flash

Sparked by someone looking back.

As certainly, in Cygnus there are other cities,

Sunday afternoons, Modern audiences

Individual in dress and piercings and hair,

Who with simple syntax gasp “Ooooh!”

At the early evolution of photography, a process

Demanding silver and somewhere else.