Reader Poems — Henry Medina

Reader Henry Medina responded to a number of prompts with fevered writing. I’d like to challenge him to disarticulate these and write a poem!

Response to prompt:  Hell’s Zip Code (

The car hits me with an atrocious blow. In a thousand directions my scream flies. This instant, this pain is called hell. Ay Dios, I pray, Santificado, why is there more pain in the world than desire? For an instant I see the zip code on the blue plaque that reads the name of the street. Ay Dios, why is hell so close?

Response to prompt: Dreams Worth More than Money (album title, Meek Mill)

My head fell with the weight of the dollars that grew like hair. I was a green horse, tussling my mane of money. They offered me to run in the Kentucky Derby, but I said why if I already have more money than desire. I prance with airs, my tail of money sweeping the streets of the poor.

Response to prompt: Dreams Worth More than Money (album title, Meek Mill)

In the year 2002 I decided to desiccate myself like a mummy. My heart I donated to illusion, and the centimeters of my soul to profit. Without faith, without eyelids, I examine the world. The living dead, we recognize we each other. The scent of rotting dreams more alluring than money.

Response to prompt: Slavery to Vegetables (

In this garden celery rules with a whip of leather. Yes, it killed the cow to arm its tools of torture. The white owl that traversed the sky, it pierced it with the javelin of the TV antenna. The animals in terror hide themselves in their cages. Only I, naked and accustomed to slavery, serve under the shadow of the curly hair of the celery.

Response to prompt: “I’m No Longer Afraid” ( cut)

I’m no longer afraid, I told the saw that cut me in half. I no longer fear your jaw, I said touching the teeth of the mermaid who had torn me to shreds. On the beach there were many dead mermaids rustling like potato sacks in the breakers. To my questioning look, the fanged mermaid said, “We are cannibals.” The dead king could not offer me advice. His head went sliding in one direction, and the wind offered me passage in another direction.

Best Reader Poem we receive in August will be awarded a $25 prize. Poem can be in response to the August prompts, the fevered writing or the poems posted. We must receive it by midnight on August 31.


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