Olfactory Inversion by Richard Gessner

The Left Handed Artist Richard Gessner’s short story, paintings and drawings

A man’s sense of smell is reversed so fragrances smell like stenches and vice versa.

His nose has dyslexia.

To skip through a field of lilacs in early spring is equivalent to being tethered to a corpse during the high heat of summer.

The aroma of freshly baked bread is like the effluvia from an army’s combat boots after marching through swamps for several weeks without stopping.

When the nose has dyslexia, the conventions of clean and dirty mutate amuck-

Nightmares of being dunked in vats of perfume become the norm-

Social status disintegrates and intimacy with a skunk brings joy-

The man burrows into remote dung heaps further and further away from the tyrannies of soap-

When the nose has dyslexia, predictable roles and behavior are scrambled anew-

Musk entrenched supermen get stampeded by berserk fawns in heat-

Germ-Phobics fondle dung beetles whom with freshly molested vigor, do hind leg roll ups of squeeky clean solid citizens-

A prudish school marm finds a hidden rabid snapping turtle in her soul after being bitten by rotten apples given jaws by the teacher’s pet gone astray-

When the nose has dyslexia, rampant desire surpasses grandiose expectation.

A wart on a baboon’s ass blossoms into a more fragrant-than-thou perfume garden berry infecting a bestial psychopath who then penetrates with valor the furious posteriors of mandrills shimmying with profane delight

Eager vines of algae growing up from centuries of neglected teeth, climb greedily towards the fortune of a fresh breath heiress-

Gooey-Pollyannas wash their mouths out with soap before reciting mantras of bland nicety to contrite career criminals gnawing on clean conscience bunions jutting from angel’s feet-

When the nose has dyslexia, sacred values of societal dust are sculpted into new poisons by the playful rogue nostril metastasizing-

The Outhouse-Leper becomes a vengeful king, skinning the pillars of communities, turning the hides into outhouse doormats-

Blind Peeping Toms suddenly regain their sight munching on outhouse-doormat brittle–thus seeing and tasting time honored models of proper conduct-

Yeast Infected Vaginas curtsy with hypnotic finesse, flirting with clownish tumescent yam jam giraffes, spurting forth voyeurs turning into martyrs, turning into manic surgeons whittling skunky joy toys in a sleepless scalpel trance-

Doric Pillar, Wolverhedgehog Gregory Geis collection

When the nose has dyslexia, the lightning of childhood memory strikes unlikely victims–oceans of crystallized feelings awaken from deep sleeps re-inventing the heart-

A hardened Loan Shark gets entangled, softened and diced up by the frail sadnesses evoked by the rubbery wet scent of his baby sister’s favorite dolly lost in a distant rainstorm-

A loud mouthed schoolyard bully becomes a mute wise old sage, transcending all utterance, ruminating inwardly, building shrines of cookie crumb folly from the remnants of desserts the bully once coerced from the trembling hands of weaklings entombed in the bowels of forgotten grammar school lunch rooms-

The cold stares of ultra strict baby sitters, soberly stretch a whiny little brat’s dirty diapers into an almighty circus tent tundra sheltering cleaner than clean orphans sired by soap bubbles popping-

When the nose has dyslexia, embarrassment lurks in excess.

The man narrowly escapes the lewd clutches of Germ-Phobics hiding in lairs of undigested corn kernels waiting to leap out and fondle him.

He burrows inexorably deeper into remote dung heaps further and further away from the tyrannies of soap, eventually reaching paradise, where fragrant nirvana is sweetest, and stench lost its voice to the carrion bird who sings dirty in reverse.

The man enters The-Nose-Has-Dyslexia restaurant, ordering a Skunky-Joy-Toy kiss smothered in freshly molested dung beetle sauce.

As frail diced up cubes of sensitive Loan Shark say grace, crowds of manic surgeons saddened by lost wet dollies, serve the meal in a sleepless scalpel trance-

The man tastes paradise, blessed by the voice of stench stolen by the carrion bird who sings dirty in reverse.

Suddenly The-Outhouse-Leper-Turned-Vengeful-King appears, interrupting the man eating, pedantically assailing him with correct table manner etiquette, forcing a squeeky clean knife and fork into his dungy hands…

The Olfactory Inversion, © 2015 by Richard Gessner From The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy

Richard Gessner’s fiction has been published in Air Fish: an anthology of speculative work, Rampike, Ice River, Coe Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Happy, The Act, Sein und Werden, Skidrow Penthouse, The Pannus Index, Fiction International and many other magazines. A collection, Excerpts from the Diary of a Neanderthal Dilettante & The Man in the Couch was published by Bomb Shelter Props. Gessner’s drawings and paintings have appeared in Raw Vision, Courier News, Asbury Park Press, Rampike, Skidrow Penthouse, and exhibited at Pleiades Gallery, Hamilton Street Gallery, Cry Baby Gallery, The Court Gallery and the Donald B. Palmer Museum. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

“The Amazing Richard Gessner,
Wizard of the word, and Alchemist of the image”

-Vincent Czyz
May 24, 2022


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