The Pleasures of Swearing
First time I discharge the F word,
a transgressive tingle like flashing my tits;
the guttural /ck/ satisfying as spitting,
the vowel discharged like a bullet.
Bloody, bollocks, bastard, milder on my swearing Scoville scale,
but still lip-smacking especially when coupled with an
Sometimes sophisticated lexis laced with a jigger
of scatological to create dirty martini malediction,
all served in a posh bird voice that adds a keener edge.
Initially reserved for errant partners, bullying colleagues,
then traded as proxy punches with a couple disputing
disabled parking space in Windsor;
or hurled like grenades through the door
of an information booth at smirking Italian girls who mocked my
But over time used promiscuously for car drivers
who carve me up, flimsy bags that spew shopping…
Slippery slope to the C word then.
Whilst friends spell out, mouth, see-you-next-Tuesday euphemise;
I find its animal grunt gives relief from frustrations
at politicians, back stabbers, cancer…
Admit to only closet use though.
Only the N word is taboo to me.
Term that tastes bitter as sarin in my mouth.
That I cannot utter like some deep-rooted stammer
whose careless use as dog’s name in classic British war movie
makes me wince more than violence in a Tarantino film.
Nevertheless, need to guard against letting slip these verbal
at meetings, family dos, dinner parties
to startled faces of elderly relatives, acquaintance’ tuts ,
when I must paint on a red face, and with a girly giggle So
Aware too that their initial tang can diminish like over chewed
so occasional abstinence required, when I only employ
chaste lexis of a vicar, WI member, librarian,
until these pent- up profanities strain at my tongue’s leash
However never entirely renounce,
because once you have the taste for-
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Fiona Sinclair
would be pleased to hear them.