He Needs a Stage or a Pedestal or a Pinnacle

 

In my sack I place an inventory: cartilage, cracked skull,

thumb, belt buckle, femur, bicuspid, shin, pelvis, scalp tuft.

The hero does not look like himself here, disjointed earth fruit

poised against nothing but the material of sack. I want power

for him more than I wanted to turn a cock into gold. 

So I shake the contents. My memory spits a cloud into grief.

He is lucky I want to depict him as whole. He is lucky I slip

into calling him you. The bones rattle their botched future,

man’s time doesn’t freeze so much as it Cordyceps to privilege. For example:

I was so sad to see you go I cut myself on the blade of gone.

My belly blossoms under the pebbles I’ve swallowed to keep dignity.

And the dignity of men is so important, a profligate red

beams from my throat. The distance I crave necessitates holy

striations, a coin that should roll from one hyperbole to the next.

I have asked to take residency in the mission of reconstruction:

Eden is covered in wet bathroom tiles, cracked with fecal dazzle

scenting the city with its small magazines. A worship as occupied

as its water damage. You see I have taken my sack here

and gazed into the sprouted dark, I lick at the botulism,

I hum in the warfare I’ve attempted to unweave and find

the man’s song gentle, his nickel rolls such gentle, gentle song.

 

—Originally published in jubilat

BOOKS

Indictus 
(forthcoming from Noemi Press; winner of the 2016 Noemi Press Contest)

 

 

Swan Feast (2015)

 

“There is no document of civilization that isn’t also its ruins.” Swan Feast is the banquet of a fallen goddess, told through the trance of an autobiographical duckling girl. The transforming voice is visionary. She connects the discovery of the Venus of Willendorf to the discovery of oil in the Middle East, implicating imperial industrialism to the passing away of Venus into faded memory and historical anorexia. Empire is the tomb of the goddess. To excavate is a “hilarious privilege,” and its anachronism borrows illumination from darkness. The duckling is resurrecting ancient powers whose excavation ride on rage, grief, a woman’s paradoxically empowered desperation which finds solidity in disappearance. In the wake of suffering, we may remember ourselves. Out of ruin, an alien star rises.
— FENG SUN CHEN
 

Chapbooks

And I Shall Again Be Virtuous (2014)

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Conversation with the Stone Wife (2014)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Poetry

"Black Tourmaline," Foundry Journal, December 2016

"Ezekielle" and "Duderonomy," The Lifted Brow Online Edition, December 2016

from "The Lake," PEN America Poetry Series, December 2016

"To Become Myself I Fear What I'll Become" and "Apteria," Horsethief, September 2016 

"Ezekielle" and "Duderonomy," The Lifted Brow, July 2016

"Hexodus," "Perviticus," and "Book of $$$$$$$," Public Pool, June 2016

"Eden: a Postscript," "A Valley Is Where a Hole Ends and We are Forced to Begin," and "Liquid Waste," Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal (Print)

"He Needs a Stage or a pedestal or a pinnacle" and "liquid Waste," jubilat, Spring 2016 (Print)

"panic attack (for wretchedness)," "Portrait of the tongue forgetting itself," "Rock missive," and "Rhythm thirteen," The Wanderer via Harlot Media, Spring 2016

"Vagenesis," The Boston Review, Spring 2016

"Exchange III" and "Delirium of Negation," The Offing, Spring 2016

"Rogue Meets Ms. Marvel," "Battleground!," and "Definitions of a carriage," Typo Magazine, Spring 2016

excerpts from "Man Hole," Verse, Winter 2016

Two poems from "Liquid Waste," Washington Square Journal, Winter 2016

"Chiaroscuro," Vinyl Poetry Poem of the Week, Winter 2016

"let everything happen to you," Sixth finch, Spring 2016

"Where does this tenderness come from?" and "Man-Made Lake," Pith, Fall 2015

"The limits of What We can do," The New Yorker, Fall 2015

"Edenic," The Kenyon Review, Summer 2015 (Print)

"Let Everything Happen to You," Poem-a-Day via The Academy of American Poets, Spring 2015

"To Label the Beast," Sundog Lit, Winter 2015

 

Fiction

excerpt from Malignant (novel-in-progress), Cosmonauts Avenue, November 2016

 

Personal Essays

"Song For Daniel, Stillborn," The Lifted Brow, issue 31, September 2016 

"Conceding Is Not Consent," The Fanzine, Winter 2015

"Throwing Up Huevos Rancheros in a Motel in Napa, 1 pm," Delirious Hem, Fall 2014

 

Interviews and Conversations

Shelterbelt Series: Natalie Eilbert and her sci-fi Feminism, NPR Illinois, October 2016, conducted by Rachel Otwell

Voices of Bettering American Poetry Interview Series, VIDA, August 2016, conducted by the Bettering American Poetry Anthology editors

Make (No) Bones Podcast, Episode 6: an Interview with Natalie Eilbert, Make (No) Bones, May 2016, Conducted by Toby Altman and Emily Barton Altman

"Piss on the Sheets": An Interview with Natalie Eilbert,  SmokeLong Quarterly,  April 2016, Conducted by Megan Giddings

Boro Book Chat: An Interview with Natalie Eilbert, Queens Book Festival blog, February 2016, Conducted by Allison Fabian

30 Must-Read Debut Poetry Collections from 2015LitHub, December 2015, Conducted by Adam Fitzgerald

Left Over with Natalie Eilbert, drDoctor Podcast, August 2015, Conducted by Sam Farahmand

On "Imprecation," In Their Own Words Series, Poetry Society of America, June 2015, Conducted by Brett Fletcher Lauer

Excavation, Consciousness, and Creation: An Interview with Natalie Eilbert, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, August 2014, Conducted by Tobias Carrol

Poet of the Week: Natalie Eilbert, Brooklyn Poets, May 2014, conducted by Jason Koo

Natalie Eilbert Interviews Valeria LuiselliThe Atlas Review, May 2014

An Interview with Natalie Eilbert, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlas ReviewWashington Square Review, January 2014, Conducted by ONSQ Editors

 

 

Reviewing Others

"Cheer Up, Femme Fatale: A Review of Kim Yideum," Sink Review, Summer 2016

"I feel discouraged about the future: a review of Anna Moschovakis's They and We Will Get into Trouble for This," The Fanzine, Summer 2016

"Anne Boyer's Garments AGainst Women: a Review," Sink Review, Winter 2016

"Aaron Apps's Dear Herculine and Intersex: a Review," Sink Review, Fall 2015

"Tongue Kiss Her Other Tongue: Inside Jenny Zhang's Hags," Boog City, Winter 2015

"Twerk by LaTasha Nevada Diggs: a Review," H_ngM_n, Fall 2014

 

WORKS IN PROGRESS

Upcoming projects include a new book of poems called Man Hole (finished!) (Hi!) 

An untitled collection of essays about trauma, consent, and exercise (in process). Essays from this book include (but are subject to abattoir–style revising) the following:

An untitled novel about a flagrant liar named Alex whose lies are complicated by trauma, eating disorders, and a typical morass of her generation's role in a literally dying world (circa 2040). Surrounding Alex is one giant unforgivable lie told blackout drunk at a party, plus a strange new world of biometrics apps, high society, and (in general) technological solipsism (in process, CLEARLY).