Untitled and Entitled

Creative Future, a local charity that works with marginalized and disabled writers ran a creative writing course at Brighton Museum in January. The following piece is one of the many great pieces of writing that came out of the course. More of the participants’ work can be read in the pamphlet Museum Tales on sale now at the Brighton Museum shop, price £5.

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

Both of the below poems are by Tony Bell


Museum Tales, Poems and prose inspired by artefacts in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Museum Tales, Poems and prose inspired by artefacts in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

I don’t want to be touched.
If you must, I insist you wear gloves.
I don’t want to be labelled, catalogued, filed,
indexed, have a number stamped
on my bottom. Write no potted history
of where I come from, who found me,
who made me, what I represent.
Let my cracks and flaws
be, they make me unique.

I don’t want to be imprisoned
in a glass case with others
who look like me, who were made
at the same time, for a similar purpose.
If I must be on display, let it be alone,
so each person can make up their own mind
about me. I’d rather be out of sight
in the basement.

Tony Bell

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

When you’ve examined me

with your magnifying glass
and microscope, photographed me
from every angle, drawn a map
of my body, traced my contours

with the tips of your fingers.

When you’ve displayed me naked

to the world, laid bare my past, shown all

that I’ve done, all that’s been done to me,
all that has shaped me, I want you

to hold me, to weave a garment

of words to clothe me, tell all that you know

of me, all that you felt the first time

you saw me, the first time you touched me.

When you fall into silence, I need you

to see beyond your image of me,

to see my true face.

Tony Bell

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