20 April, 2016: ELECTRIC FRUIT


by Robert P. Lawry
        for Yevgeny Yevtushenko
I am an awesome tangerine
fast becoming apple.
A pear in subways, one kilowatt
from thought. My juices need the blade
or twitch of an electric switch.
I am fruit, mute, mistake, promise.
I am spliced and cabled, still I grow;
imitation in a bowl of wax bananas.
I talk to myself;
expect God to answer. I am
an idiot dancer and a shocking thing
who legs electrocute and sing.
I am seed, the kitchen's total need.
I am phosphorus, almost fission.
I light. I feed. I dwell. I rot.
I smell like burning –
          once I thought
I was really a chair, made of berries,
wired for sound.
“Electric Fruit” by Robert P. Lawry first appeared in the New Orleans Review, reprinted in Necessary Pleadings. Pudding House Publications, 2005. Used by permission of the author.
Robert Lawry, Emeritus Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and the co-founder and long-time Director of the Center for Professional Ethics at CWRU, has degrees from Fordham College, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Oxford University. He was a Fellow in Law and the Humanities at Harvard University, where he studied poetry with the late Robert Fitzgerald. Bob has published poems in many literary magazines; was the Phi Beta Kappa poet at CWRU in 2010; and has authored two books of poetry, Necessary Pleadings (Pudding House Publications, 2005), and Into All That Blue (2015). He has also written essays on the relationship between and among language, literature, law, and ethics.


Choose an event from the past 24 hours of your life and write a poem about it. Each line of the poem should have exactly 24 characters.

Rebeccah DiPuccio
Yes auditioning is scary
Putting your talents out
To be judged and to hear
Your friends analyze you
And point out your every
Mistake and shortfalling
Is no easy task. I fell
Short, but where I fail,
You are stronger than I.
4/20/2016 10:37:37 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.