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.

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Bali Belly​


by Eddie Bulliqi​


Airplane plastic, so sterile it stings,
bloats the cracks of my mind as I lose
dreams to sleep, clapped in the early
hours by sultry washing basins
sweating mango jam and the scales of
grated feet burdened with blue
days walking religious paths.  

Frangipani twirls whipped from the
tree hum of fried rice like the
crust of sandy shadows masked in a
beach towel, so fragile at heart, so fierce in  
stare, so sweet with nostalgia that souls
unfurl with hugs and tears, buzzing
hollow commands to cavernous drums.

It rained; steaming tarmac muting
movement's lamenting sear. Through the
gauzy screen, white charcoal trails lead
temple incense plumes in swathes,
swarming mopeds choked in dense
diesel whilst floral skins burn
voluptuous far-away purple suns.

Rotting slabs of durian, turn
after turn, scream alongside
rushing ripe galangal shots
fired inside my veins with intent,
cleansed of nothing but superstition,
creaming clarity into mashed,
sour, bubbling, frantic indulgence.

And then I got food poisoning.

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