Museum Tales 2: D.O.A.

Creative Future run creative writing courses at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery for marginalised writers. Dr Claudia Gould, the group facilitator, encourages participants to use Museum objects to inspire their work. Funded by the Arts Council England, these groups will be running again in spring 2015. If you’re interested in attending please contact Creative Future (01273 234780) for further information.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Creative Future

D.O.A. by Janina Aza Karpinska

On being given the brief – write about discovering a new quality to a familiar object – I chanced upon the wreckage of an electric guitar which inspired this poem,

Black electric guitar, late at night –
smashed in the middle of the road –
two black wings torn apart.
A shock of white meat – exposed wood:
too pale against the black skin of its surface
and the tarmac of the road.
Long neck – intact; body gutted;
entrail pick-ups still attached – by single cords,
the way I imagine eyeballs might be
when plucked from their sockets.
Tone and volume knobs in place, likewise
some lever-switch beside them, but
the rest is hacked about, and broken,
I pick the relic up, careful to lay the body down
all-of-a-piece on the kerb.
Too much like a dead cat, I think,
Someone should know this has happened.
It doesn’t feel right to leave it like that.
Later, I come back with a friend, who
carries it home in his arms; and lays it to rest
on a bean-bag behind the sofa
like a catafalque; it almost feels
irreverent to watch a film in its presence,
but we do. Tomorrow, we will see
if there’s life beyond this. If there’s
hope, or resurrection; refrain, and coda:
a reprise, of a kind, albeit as donor.

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