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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 10: October 2021
Poem: 241 words
By Linda Nemec Foster

California Dream

 
I’m dreaming of an omelette 
in the shape of California: 
three eggs folded with hot 
peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, 
salsa, and a dollop of pureed 
avocado to put Baja to shame. 

I’m dreaming of eating this omelette 
in a small cafe near the harbor 
outside San Pedro. Saint Peter 
of fancy yachts and tiny apartments; 
Saint Peter of the massive Peace Bell 
from South Korea and all the gold gilt 
protecting it; Saint Peter of this 
omelette that I begin to eat in my sleep. 

From the Oregon state line to the border 
with Tijuana, I eat the California Omelette. 
From Crescent City to Redding, 
from Santa Rosa to Sacramento, 
from Oakland to Mammoth Lakes, 
from Monterey to Fresno, 
from San Luis Obispo to Bakersfield, 
from Santa Barbara to Barstow, 
from Long Beach to Palm Springs, 
from San Diego to any hidden desert town 
named after any anonymous saint. 

I eat the omelette in the shape of California 
filled with the taste of a landscape I can’t begin 
to digest in the cold gray of an early 
April morning in Michigan. I awaken 
to a light blanket of snow. It covers what little 
evidence there is of spring: shy green negated by white. 

Meanwhile, the California Omelette—awash in red 
peppers, even redder tomatoes, and the wild 
palette of salsa—waits for my next dream 
where it will morph into an orgasm 
on a tiny bed somewhere west of Victorville. 

Linda Nemec Foster
Issue 10, October 2021

is the author of 12 poetry collections, including Amber Necklace from Gdansk (a finalist for the Ohio Book Award in Poetry; Louisiana State University Press, 2001), The Lake Michigan Mermaid with Anne-Marie Oomen (2019 Michigan Notable Book; Wayne State University Press, 2018), The Elusive Heroine: My Daughter Lost in Magritte (Cervena Barva Press, 2018), Talking Diamonds (New Issues Press, 2009), and Listen to the Landscape (Eerdmans Publishing, 2006). Her most recent poetry book, The Blue Divide, was published in 2021 by New Issues Press.

Ms. Foster’s work has appeared in more than 350 magazines and journals such as The Georgia Review, New American Writing, Nimrod, North American Review, Quarterly West, Paterson Literary Review, Witness, and Verse Daily. Her poems have also been published in anthologies in the U.S. and Great Britain, and translated in Europe. Collaborations with visual artists, musicians, and composers have brought her poetry to new venues and audiences. It has been exhibited in museums and galleries, set to music, produced for the stage, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

In 2018 and 2019, Ms. Foster won an Editor’s Choice Award in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College and Paterson Literary Review. She has been honored with awards from the Arts Foundation of Michigan, ArtServe Michigan, the National Writer’s Voice, and the Academy of American Poets. She is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College, and was the first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan (serving from 2003-2005). In 2015, she was honored by the Dyer-Ives Foundation for her poetry and advocacy of the literary arts in Michigan. In the fall of 2019, she was a guest lecturer in contemporary American poetry and literature at the University of Bielsko-Biala in Poland.

Author’s website: www.lindanemecfoster.com

 
 
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