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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 8: June 2021
Prose poem: 149 words
By Linda Nemec Foster

Dijon Mustard in a Toothpaste Tube, Switzerland

 

No joke about it. In Geneva—where the international movers and shakers spend their days in countless meetings and their nights in countless cocktail lounges talking about the meetings—simple gestures are disguised. The handshake masquerades as a worn stone. A glance becomes an x-ray. A silent wave is ephemeral as a cloud reflected off the lake. So it should be no surprise that dijon mustard (not the plain yellow stuff on any ballpark hot dog but the Grey Poupon found in only the finest limousines) comes in tiny toothpaste tubes in this city where the League of Nations crashed and burned. The perfect camouflage—just like everything else. Six degrees of separation in Geneva: League of Nations; United Nations; One Nation Under God; God Bless America; American as Baseball, Apple Pie, and Hot Dogs. Do you want mustard on that dog?

Linda Nemec Foster
Issue 8, June 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.

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

 
 
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