The American Slave Craze and other work by Kamden Hilliard

Kamden Hilliard is studying creative writing, psychology, and education at Sarah Lawrence College. He is an older and younger brother. When he is not brother-ing he is a YoungArts level one winner in writing, a 2012 Davidson Laureate in Literature, and an avid hiker. In short, he tries to keep busy. Kamden is a poetry editor with the Adroit Journal and Dark Phrases magazine. He has been published (or has forthcoming work) in Requited Journal, Bellow Literary Journal, Burntdistrict, and other lovely and diverse places. If Kamden wasn’t writing, he’d be very sad—or a scientist.

Song and Prance

The body eclectic is flat. If you’re going to sing again, don’t. Music encourages movement and we will not be held respectable for what you contract. Females are not an exact Race and Eugenics is not an exact science; music will suffice. Research supports a link between dance and blunt force drama. Read it and creep. While no cure exists, industrial cosmetics conceal pear-shapes and pruneishness. To place an order, leave your message after the B****IN’ B****. Packages are delivered in five to seven witch hunts. US Certified chase-able tail is not delivered on Sunday. Sex is a national resource, please, have some patriotism. With liberty and just-us for just-us. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for our coveting.

The American Slave Craze

Both horses and niggers [are] no good to the economy in the wild or natural state—Willie Lynch

Idle animals are the Devil’s playground: darkies on the field and light skins in the house. Missionaries switch go-go boots for shackles and pray out the noise. The singing is only singing because it is allowed. Wayd in da watuh, wayd in da slaughter. Children, reading is a gateway drug. Violence is a necessary equal. Lessons are not taught—they admit a need to learn. Hell is empty and all of the devils are on auction, call it Manifest Domination. If the body is a wonderland, charge admission. If the body is a tool, wear and tears are expected. If the body is a temple, renovate with sledgehammers. Flick the wrist and follow through. Inches of death are debatable depending on the scales of submission. It is better to be feared than to be anything. Somewhere between the slouching limbs of the sycamore and the teeth at the bottom of the Atlantic, we ripped open The Middle Package.

Family Matter

the perfect kaleidoscope is stuck
in our family stump. if shaken,
it spins a skin we won’t identify.

we are a history of cracking, of brakebones
and skull fragments. of absentee metaphor, metaphor—

rically wailing limbs, crushed like frozen seedlings;
a history of force—of torque twisted blood bruises

and the trees from which we fell/jumped. a history of how
we won’t mean anything:

a history of limping. of ways—of ways in and out
of people who wreak of crowlogic.

a history of scars draped like party streamers
on the faces of men and women.

a history of decimation, of blood and lightning:

water; seed spring; root push; truncated thrust growth; bang bloom; rings and rings of rain in forested ribcages.

engine growl; lumberjack teeth; rustcolored bloodsong; epitaphs stamped on soft pine people.

light product illuminates scene:
woman bears child. child
grows. child has child,
has another child.
The children
have children
and that is
how we

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