The Fruits

I adore the apparent absurdity of writing a song cycle about fruit. The juxtaposition of that absurdity coupled with the unique, individual feelings that each one of us have for particular fruits is the impetus for these songs. The apple is at once perhaps the most simple and immediate of the fruits, but at the same time it is potentially the most historically and philosophically loaded. For some the plum only carries with it connotations of mild laxatives, while for others it is extremely delicate and sensual.  These songs explore some of my own feelings and ideas about particular fruits. The poetry for selected songs, co-written by my father, John Richards, and myself, follows below.


Growing bananas,
Firm green thumbs thrusting
Upwards on a stalk.

A single banana
On a painted wooden shelf,
Softer by the hour.

I found one in my bag
blackened, oozing,
entombed for three weeks
and ground by Vonnegut and Ives

The smell lingers.


I hold it, Plum, fist sized,
skin taut, purple bloom and blush…

Plum, the fruit like heart,
skin broken drops the amber sugared fluid
dripping down my chin and wrists,

I stain my shirt.
Who cares?

God, it’s good to wallow
in a massive Plum
after winter’s pity fare.

Making love after a long absence
early spring plums
what’s the difference?

Your skin, your stone, your juices…

Love that Plum.

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