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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Plane Surfaces / Plano de Incidencia – Judith Kerman, translated by Johnny Durán

Plane Surfaces / Plano de Incidencia - Judith Kerman translated by Johnny Durán

Plane Surfaces / Plano de Incidencia – Judith Kerman translated by Johnny Durán

Bilingual (English/Spanish).
Paper, perfect bound, 134 pp
$15 plus s&h
2002, CCLEH (Santo Domingo)
ISBN 0-932412-20-3

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Plane Surfaces
by Judith Kerman

The mirror says, “Big deal.”
You look like a balloon: taut and prosperous
or wrinkled, sad, leaked-out.
Ancestors part the veil,
peer through an impression of your face,
but only momentarily,
like putting a finger into water—
then the surface heals.
Silver fluid: time, mercury
from a broken fever thermometer
chasing its tail
on the blanket.
Kiss it, the flat surface of yourself.
Put on your lipstick,
polish your nails.
Get ready to go out,
shining like a polestar
in the darkness.
Your date is downstairs,
checking his hair,
looking at his watch.
In that first moment
your faces will reflect each other,
empty and pale.

Plano de Incidencia

El espejo dice, “¿Y qué?”
Pareces un globo: tensa y prospera
o arrugada, triste, desinflada.
Los antepasados descorren el velo,
miran desde una impresión de tu rostro,
pero solo momentaneamente,
como al poner un dedo dentro del agua—
entonces se sana la superficie.
Fluido plateado: tiempo, mercurio
de un termómetro clínico roto
persiguiendo su cola
sobre la frazada.
Bésala, la plana superficie de ti misma.
Ponte el pintalabios,
pintate las uñas.
Apréstate para salir,
brillando como una estrella polar
en la oscuridad.
Abajo te espera para la cita,
examinando su pelo,
mirando el reloj.
En ese primer momento
vuestros rostros se reflejáran el uno al otro,
vacíos y pálidos.

traducción de Johnny Durán


Judith Kerman is the editor/publisher of Mayapple Press. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the Dominican Republic in 2002. Her book of translations, Dulce María Loynaz: A Woman in Her Garden was published by White Pine Press in 2002. Her prose poem book, Mothering (Uroboros Books/Allegany Mountain Press, 1978) received Honorable Mention in the 1978 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award competition; it has been reissued with a companion play in Mothering & Dream of Rain (Ridgeway Press, 1996) and as a Storyspace ™ hypertext in Eastgate Quarterly Review of Hypertext 2.2.

Johnny Durán is a poet and translator who lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.