KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 163 words

Tea in Istanbul

by Linda Nemec Foster

Men stand outside every restaurant, every store, every fruit stand, enticing you—at times, assaulting you—to come in and buy anything: an exclusive hand-woven carpet, genuine red leather slippers, a bottle of water. I walk past a handsome and hip man standing by the front door of the Historic Angel House Hotel & Restaurant. His hair is a distinct revision of a spiked Mohawk that defies gravity, greased and slick. He laughs to himself as if he knows this hawking routine is a joke without a punchline. But he has to do it because it’s expected—the entry level job before he can work the inside labyrinth of bell boy, night desk clerk, restaurant manager. He wears black leather pants and doesn’t act insulted when I pass by quickly, without a second glance. That night, I steal away to the bar next door to the Historic Angel House and drink the liquid amber of Turkish tea. I watch him.


Linda Nemec Foster
Issue 9, Spring 2018

is the author of ten collections of poetry, including most recently The Lake Michigan Mermaid (Wayne State University Press, 2018) and the critically acclaimed Amber Necklace from Gdansk (Louisiana State University Press, 2001) and Talking Diamonds (New Issues Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in more than 350 magazines and journals such as The Georgia Review, Nimrod, North American Review, New American Writing, Quarterly West, and Witness. Her work has also been published in anthologies in the U.S. and Great Britain, translated in Europe, exhibited in museums and galleries, set to music, produced for the stage, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and honored by the Arts Foundation of Michigan, ArtServe Michigan, the National Writer’s Voice, and the Academy of American Poets.

Foster is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College, and from 2003-2005, she served as the first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2015, she was honored by the Dyer-Ives Foundation for her poetry and advocacy of the literary arts in Michigan.

[See also expanded bio at poet’s website.]

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