NOT a #100Days100Poems post, but a new poem all the same

After a much needed break from the pace of the 100 Days 100 Poems project, we return with something new and, to steal a phrase from the Pythons, with something completely different. Thank you for joining us.

Code Switching #13

In English we have the humble
to fart, the simple fart, the straightforward fart
a short sharp sound that, when silent,
is deadly
and that four-letter, one-syllable word
doesn’t do much more than that,
though sometimes we fart around
which, luckily for bystanders,
isn’t often accompanied by the 
burst of intestinal gas that can be
quite noxious, and sometimes
we talk about the old farts,
geriatric friends and not noxious fumes
aged like a sulfuric wine.
But in French,
oh the French,
you can péter or you can
faire un pet--imagine doing or making a fart
like a special project,
and in accomplishing it
you can be so full of yourself
that you’ll fart higher than your own ass
péter plus haut que son cul
and should that project,
in the greatest Franco-American GI liberation collaboration,
create a capitalist’s dream
you could péter dans la soie,
roll in money while you fart in silk
and péter, too, can mean
to blow up or to break
like we break wind
or blow it out our asses
and if our project above falls through
then notre projet de faire un pet pète dans nos mains
falls, no wafts, straight through our hands.
And should we get enraged
at the failed fart project
or the police farting around with people’s lives
then it’s a perfect time to
péter la gueule à eux, tu vois
smash their faces in, you see,
which means we’ve probably 
pété des flammes, turned nasty they say,
which farting flames might do
and in so doing
we would péter les plombs
or péter un boulon
losing it like
nous avons pété un câble
gone off the rails because farting wire rope,
well, you know, a cable,
is the opposite of bursting with health
you know, péter la sante
and with all this farting around it’s hard to imagine we don’t end here
not trying to smash someone’s face in
but here, instead,
où on se pète la gueule
where we do smash our own faces-- 
with bottles of Bordeaux and cognac
and armagnac and champagne
because here at least we find the switch,
where getting smashed means the same thing:
a hearty Baudelairean call
to get drunk.


©David Siller – 2021