Looking at Mapplethorpe’s Polaroids, I learn that he
liked shoes and armpit crotch-shots of men and women,
both shaved and un’—all giving a good whiff to the camera.
But best of all are his pictures of ordinary phones
which convey a palpable sense of expectancy as if
at any moment, one of the fabulous, laconic nude men
strewn about might call. One could pick up the receiver
and hear the garbled sound of ancient Greek and Roman
voices reveling in the background. But even when silent,
the dingy phone is a sex organ—cock asleep in its cradle.