From Imagination To Publication

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Morning Sneak Peek - THE LIGHT YOU CANNOT TOUCH by Erin York

Did a weekend of reading leave you wanting more? 
Sneaking peeks of your newest novel from under
your desk at work? 

For the eternal is your 
Monday Morning Sneak Peek!



THE LIGHT YOU CANNOT TOUCH explores the many kinds of love through expressive poetry in the voice of award-winning LGBTQ author, Erin York. 

In the words of others: "THE LIGHT YOU CANNOT TOUCH is raw, wild, surprising, unafraid, and spry with flares of unforgettable brilliance." 
--Savannah Thorne, executive director of Balkan Press and managing editor of Conclave: A Journal of Character. 

"Erin York leaves no doubt that she's a writer of heart and vitality in these moving poems. She's one to watch, one to listen for when you need poetry to take you to places only the heart knows." 
--Allison Joseph, My Father's Kites: Poems and editor-in-chief of Crab Orchard Review 

"Erin York takes her reader from innocence to experience, through loss and gain, through the tangled bodies of love in unexpected ways." 
--Maryfrances Wagner, Red Silk, winner of the Thorpe Menn Book Award and co-editor of the I-70 Review.

  Not Famous.
But Forever.
first published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry2013

This spring replaced a dozing winter—
one where the sky opened its blue eyes to snow
only twice—
For Emerson Babylon, this spring rose from orchid buds
whose hard-shelled heads unwound for the sun,
whose parasitic feet wove beneath leftover leaves.
But because his eyebrows turned to hanging icicles—
their black scuff marks now faded to the winter—
he left his Pacific lodging and marched East.

Even after all these seasons,
he still searched for something right.

Maybe he went mad from all the walking, but
he kicked up fairy dust and flower petals
on his way to the end of the world.
Or Oklahoma.
He took root in red dirt and waited
for the apocalypse. The Second Coming.
Oh, and he ate ice cream.
For days.

Another spring:
Emerson dropped his Albuquerque satchel
inside a too-small café. Papers became birds in flight.

One, he saw, nested in
her lap.

That woman. He’d snuck candy glimpses 
of her sun-washed hair.
Now, he had a new perspective—
Her eyes.
Beneath her brow’s penumbra,
they were two fountain pens
that inked a blue life spring.
A brand-new, silver-coated, chocolate-centered beginning.
One not raised from the apocalypse or a tragic end.
Like zombies.

He asked her to dinner.
She said yes.

In another season, when all the world was falling,
he learned she understood stonework.
Before they married, she told him, “We’ll build together—
—Our home and ourselves.”
So they mixed clay with the blood from their calluses until
the bricks that sheathed their house became their body.
And they could not leave it.

One night, when each orchid outside died,
and winter returned in waves like blankets,
she drew him into their bed,
folded covers into paper hats,
and laid a naked self before him.
They had been two, he realized,
as he unwound her and wove in his roots.
Now, they were one.

And he could not leave her.
And that was right.

A Sideline to Death
first published in Puff Puff Prose Poetry and a Play2013

He says—

You spend your days dying
and log the time it takes,
while I discover my ulcer.

You tell me only two more weeks.

Two weeks until doctors
invade like the rapist does
and tug free the jump rope
and pink kickball, those
women parts whose names
I could never bring myself to say.

You tell me to leave flowers,
the fake kind, on your bedside
because they are the only ones
that last.

Okay, we have two weeks
until writing checks and wills and letters,
two weeks until signing them all,
as though they mean the same thing.

Well, go on then.
I’ll chew Tums in the waiting room
and remember the spring morning
when we had our whole lives
ahead of us.

What an age that was.

The stars were cracks in Heaven’s floor.
And God was an astronaut,
tethered, in a white suit,
to a place of safety.

The Light You Cannot Touch
first published in The Screech Owl2014

Can you tell me the age where life
turns its roaring corner,
and the places you see
on the side of the road take speed?

For poetry’s sake, let’s say
the perfect age is thirteen.

Your world will be
brightest that year.
You’ll fall for the first time
with a girl or a boy.

Your nerve endings
will stretch through your pores,
and when your skin is electric,
you’ll try to forget you’re soft.


Let your world stay glazed
for a moment longer.
Let your youth shine
like light through dandelion seeds.

Take time to smell the dirt.
Catch rain as it falls through the trees.
Hold your kitten close
and your first dog as he dies.

You don’t know it yet,
but after your thirteenth year,
they’ll drug you with money, with speed,
with things that aren’t living.

Then you’ll remember all your pain.
Those memories, you could paint
on all the bills you’ll pay
on all the walls of all your empty rooms.

Your life will become a blur.
But I hope there will be moments,
like when you first see God,
that cause you to take pause, 

that will show you the light
you cannot touch.