Scent Verse: Nose Ode

08th February, 2018

Scent Verse is a poetry project curated by Basenotes writer Eddie Bulliqi that seeks to explore scent language and metaphors by publishing poems from contributors across different industries that either take scent as their inspiration or are very evocative of smell.

If you are interested in being involved, please send a direct message here on Basenotes.

Nose Ode

by Daniel Firoozan

The world is circular to its white end;
As spirochetes we swirl our cycles each.
So looped are our fates and the river’s bend,
That this tramp here begins to reek of bleach.
Writhing in that grey stench, grey as pavement,
It curls, unfurls and hums, thin and rag-dressed,
Wasted denial in the face of libel.
Shopping trolley vagrant,
The metal mesh grates out your viral zest
Of dirt that Time has mopped as an aisle.

From your mop-head that white hydroxide jet
Cuts up my nose but creams to something round,
Reminds of caustic burns, hepatic debt,
Yet spreads out into something quite profound.
Sharp, grey and white at first, but then yellow,
Shiny yellow like the loud proud bottle,
An ultra pleased to clean by stifling life.
Crust is its sole echo.
Whether it settles to cleanse or throttle,
The surface will ultimately decide.

A Saturday night brings some cigarettes,
A Monday morning, commuter coffee,
Friendly gestures from other spirochetes
That fill the air better than their money;
Here comes a vial of it crossing the road,
Each scent an end to one more living cell,
Those coins were bent on death when they were cast.
It’s Marilyn Monroe.
‘Un petit peu de Coco Mad’moiselle!’
Stinking on, as solutions to stinks past.


You can view all of the poems in the Scent Verse project here.

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About the author: Daniel Firoozan

Daniel Firoozan writes a lot of poetry and prose and would love to get his bread from doing these things more; to that end, he has just started work on his first novel in the hope that he will have something meaningful and beautiful to share by the time the year is out. Beyond his enjoyment of smelling things and reading books, he derives pleasure from dogs and good attacking football.


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    • jujy54 | 7th March 2018 22:36

      I enjoyed your poem. Describein g a scent experience "objectively" seems impossible; poetry is the solution. Well done.

    • jujy54 | 6th June 2018 04:37

      Beautiful, witty, evocative (I'm sounding like a perfume ad!). You rock the iambic pentameter, too.