Mayapple Press is a small literary press founded in 1978 by poet and editor Judith Kerman. We celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of "mainstream" and "avant-garde"; women's writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.
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Defying the Eye Chart – Marilyn Jurich

Defying the Eye Chart - Marilyn Jurich

Defying the Eye Chart – Marilyn Jurich

Poetry. Paper, perfect bound, 120 pp
$15.95 plus s&h
2008, ISBN 978-0932412-577

Defying the Eye Chart reaches beyond time to bring the mythic into our contemporary world. The poems in this collection focus on different ways of seeing, or not seeing, the fantastic in reality.

Honorary Mention, New England Poetry Club, Sheila Motton Book Award, 2008



Reading the Eye Chart

by Marilyn Jurich

Trick the gullible eye —
Lines stick out their tongues, diagonals curve.
Vipers hiss from Druid stones under a white sky.
Advancing shadows dance or die,
trick the gullible eye —
embracing fitful ghosts, longing to tie
circle-line to sense before they swerve,
trick the gullible eye.
Lines stick out their tongues, diagonals curve.

This is the alphabet of ferns
singing between the passages of wind.
Dream language of the lover who yearns
for echoing syllable as he gently turns.
This is the alphabet of ferns.
Whoever learns to see one code, design… listen and rescind.
This is the alphabet of ferns
singing between the passages of wind.

Unraveling my soul by what I see
you count how close I come to hold desire,
gauge my level of normality
according to whether I call the shrinking letter E,
unraveling my soul by what I see,
convinced the eye uncovers mystery —
omphalos to everything we can aspire.
Unraveling my soul by what I see,
you count how close I come to hold desire.


Marilyn Jurich is Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University, Boston, where she teaches courses in Fantasy and Folklore, Speculative Literature, Children’s Literature and Modern English Poetry. In 1998 in her book Scheherazade’s Sisters: Trickster Heroines and Their Stories in World Literature (Greenwood Press), she established a new folklore type, the female trickster, called trickstar. Currently, she lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with Joseph, her husband, and Joscelyn, their daughter.