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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 6

Tony Medina

One Guy Shot Another Guy
One guy shot another guy, and so he went and got a gun. He came back and shot at the guy that shot at him, but hit another guy instead; and so he went and got a gun and came back shooting. A number of people heard gunshots and ran off to get some guns. This crossfire spread like wildfire until everybody had a gun. It got so bad they started shooting it out for bullets that were high on demand but low in supply. They couldn’t make them soon enough until some started shooting the manufacturers for being slow on the draw. When all the bullets ran out they started bashing each other over the head with the butts of their guns. There was so many pistol whippings and lumps and knots and busted heads and gun parts, people started belting one another with fists and poking each others’ eyes out until everyone was blind with fury, tired as all hell, totally unarmed.
Tony Medina is Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University. Two-time winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People for DeShawn Days (2001) and I and I, Bob Marley (2009), he is the author of a number of books for adults and young people, including An Onion of Wars (2012) and Broke Baroque (2013), finalist for the Julie Suk Book Award. He recently received the Langston Hughes Society Award from the College Language Association and the first African Voices Literary Award. Medina’s most recent book is Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky (Jacar Press, 2016). Look for his work at



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