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