Sunday Service

Sunday Service: Natalie Eilbert

Man Hole

I left him unfinished. I just wanted to.
The snow outside fills the sewers
and like my drive for power will stop abruptly
     and soon. Starting now, I’ll drop picture frames
down the hole. Drop food processors and Le Creusets
and my chaste little letters. It’s due to my interest
in godless practices that undoes the ritual.

I have a hole where I store my absent typographies,
I have a hole that will never move outside my body.

When he is beautiful, he adapts to a you-state,
thous his way into my pants to mortify my skins.
He draws me over in charcoal, my dull empty sternum
pinks with creation. I have a hole capable of erasure
and his jaw hangs like a mantis there, there.

Then I make him just once pierced with hundreds of holes.
I make him to preen and prick and prune his skin til he bends in his beautiful stalk.

Then I make him to crave my every sustenance as I fill him with clay and stone and ink.

Here is a mirror to wander through, a hallway to crack over his knee.

I make him to tender my strong arms as I spread him open with my knee.
I give him bloomers. I give him diamonds. I give him my desiccated brainstem
and ask if he’d like to go home now. He digs a hole in the ground and gets in and this makes him mine forever.


One definition of a hole is
     When men accidentally kill endangered wildlife
    they fill the beasts with holes, sew in rocks, sink them in larger holes.

One definition of a hole is
     I used to use maxipads against my hole, and I could smell
   the perfumed cotton-rot when a man slipped in through my window.

One definition of a hole is
     The men have been wiped out. I’ve been given certain allowances
     to provide for my species. I miss them. I am Ursula fat and witchy under the sea.

One reason I fantasize about the re-creation of men is because they always admit having loved me when they’re done with me, the heartsick goat in my stomach slaughters itself I am so grateful to fill myself with godawful certitudes as I bleed out. I don’t hear them in the vents. I don’t hear them over me in the dark, emptying. I starve my body still in case it drives them back.

I store them in the hole outside my body. This isn’t my hole but it’s a decent one, keeps them veal-dark and veal-alive. Vials and vials worth of DNA. All these sad engorged wads of dead ocean.


My poor man, so full of addendum,
driven through the asphalt to occupy the space
of a shit lake, shit river, shit rat god.
When you are mine you become animate
only capable of burning selfies in the shit lake.
        I say when. I say.
And when I close the sepulcher it is done and
you are he again, the agnostic whimpering he.
I place a hole over you, under you, fill it with rock.
Can’t wait to return to my dumb bitch couch
where he is the empty border outside where he is the hole.

The dog presents her dead
to an amnesiac who claims
she was touched by a man
and the touch felt like power
Power is a couch that covers a great hole

The holes I poured you in are becoming legible,
can be read from left to right, up to down, under to over—

The beauty of holes is that I cannot enter one without ceasing to
exist in the seen world. That a body can disappear and become
subsumed by a space suggests that the body is nothing but an act
of spectral negation. My cunt is a star with its darkness pressed to the floor to temporarily light me, to lighten me.

So the channels of men close. The lines of the men close.
I have a sample of spit from the hate of my history and I hock and
I hock and I hock in the holes of my men.

To call a woman a hole is to suggest immediate use.
To call a man a hole suggests grave incivility.

Incivilities I place like a knife at the windowsill to cool.
I’ve set a wishbone in boiling water to watch its holes appear.
When I weep, my calcium brittles. My men limn in sinkholes
until they are again important, until their duress makes me faint in my delicate sovereignty.


History is a papertrail that leads to a hole.
My personal history is always such that and that which, a dreadful taxonomy of raining men.
Hallelujah I’ve dug up this adorable patriarchy and it wants to live!

The classrooms of girls offend me with their careful thinking.
Thinking is an act of dipping your hands into a hole that you hope will form a skin.
I have crowned my foreskin a philosopher its rhetoric is so dry.

When he is homely, he is a leader of men and glimmers a brawny integument of he.
He is drawn from the rocks. He rapes a hole in me to fill me with rocks.
My consent is my sinking to the seafloor. Sally sold seawhores by the seashore,
I hum and I hock to the bottom.
The hooked descending albatross is a beauty to behold and I place its carcass like a key
     in his gray bloated sternum to bloom itself dry.

When he is homely, a hole forms in his throat for him to speak.
Stones fall out of his crude syntax.

I make him hundreds of times, drill holes behind his temples to make his future exterminations simple. I make his cock hundreds more times, I freeze them mid-revision.

I make him hundreds of times for he is homely and I’ve made him to desire the keen white    scalpel again and again.
I make him hundreds of times, let his holes grow dusty from lack of speech.

I make him hundreds of times and he sits on a rock all bashful and glitz.

I make him hundreds of times until he is pretty and worth his weight in flesh.

And in his flesh, I see him, the delicate sovereignty of his limbs.
And when I see him, I scoop out his throat, I take it in the hole and the look in his eyes tells me   he’s grateful. I thou him so hard I can feel his fingers wrapping their worth round my   neck.
My love is a hole I can only make once. I make it hundreds and hundreds of times.

Bio: Natalie Eilbert’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Tin House, Handsome, Guernica, West Branch, Spinning Jenny, Sixth Finch, STOKED, and many others. Her chapbook, Conversation with the Stone Wife, is forthcoming from Bloof Books. She lives and writes in Greenpoint, where she is the founding editor of The Atlas Review.

February 2nd, 2014 / 10:00 am
Sunday Service


  1. Dolan Morgan


  2. Amy Silbergeld

      This is a beautiful poem. Great selection, Melissa!

  3. Internet Fiction Digest, 21st February | Digital Writers’ Festival | Anthony Hecht | Natalie Eilbert | penguin plays rough

      […] this poem by Natalie Eilbert, called Man Hole, achieves much of the same effect, if in a far more transgressive, unusual way. It’s a bizarre, at […]

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      […] 7 Natalie Eilbert is one poet who opts to take the negative out of cunts. Your cunt’s a star? Hell yes, Natalie, so’s mine. Karma partially restored htmlGIANT. […]

  5. A Damn Fine Female Body Part • The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review

      […] 7 Natalie Eilbert is one poet who opts to take the negative out of cunts. Your cunt’s a star? Hell yes, Natalie, so’s mine. Karma partially restored htmlGIANT. […]