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Selected Work - Huey Helene Alcaro
“Snake Sniffing” Originally printed in Vine Leaves Literary Journal I haven’t spent my life sniffing snakes. I have people who will attest to that. Hell, I’ve never even held one. I certainly haven’t been crawling around trying to catch a sniff of one slithering past. Quite an image though. I keep getting flashes of odors that are not present. While writing the other day, all of a sudden, with still no obvious connection, I smelled trout sauteing in butter in a cast iron pan. I’m not certain about the pan, but I sure did smell trout and sizzling butter. Lilacs—I can catch a whiff of them out of season. A colleague in a writing workshop read an essay including the memory of getting a Toni permanent. (Young readers, Google it.) I smelled that Toni. I smelled it in my eyes. Smells can be as pungent in the eyes as the nose, the olfactory in through the optical—hair dyes, undiluted bleach, even gyms during basketball games with all that charged-up sweat. Perhaps the presence of absent odors brought a scent-memory of snakes. Garter snakes at least, all the little non-threatening garter snakes I inadvertently sliced and diced with a lawn mower Continue Reading ...