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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Prose poem: 156 words
By Linda Nemec Foster

Lipstick in Geneva

 

She’s been in this situation before: the dilemma of buying lipstick in a foreign country. Then, it was Warsaw—now, it’s Geneva. Back then, everything was cheap in Poland before the EU and foreign investments. Now, everything is priced sky-high in Geneva to keep up with the secret bank accounts and mansions, the Mercedes and Jaguars with black-tinted windows. A hamburger is $35. A simple salad is $50. And that ultimate tube of vanity—lipstick—is $75 a tube. Yes. $75. And not in some pricey boutique but in a corner drugstore. $75 for Christian Dior’s Diorific Lip Colour: Mystic Mauve and Cancan Orange are the same steep price. No color better than another. So what’s the foreign wife to do? Pucker up and pay, or risk having her lips disappear amidst Geneva’s well-heeled, well-dressed women? As she contemplates her face in the mirror, the sunset glows coral and crimson just behind her.

Linda Nemec Foster
Issue 6, January 2021

is the author of 11 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 new poetry book, The Blue Divide, was selected as an Editor’s Choice and will be published by New Issues Press in 2021.

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.

For more info, visit her website at: www.lindanemecfoster.com

 
 
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