Shira Erlichman

cantfindit

Born in Israel, now living in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is an author, visual artist, and musician. Her poems explore recovery – of language, of home, of mind. Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a decade ago fundamentally changed her life and, wildly enough, deepened her love of being here. Her poetry book Odes to Lithium centers around her experiences with mental illness. Her picture book Be/Hold: A Friendship Book uses compound words to illuminate what is possible when we come together. Shira is the founder of Freer Form, a portable creativity school. She earned her BA at Hampshire College. She has been awarded the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe, as well as a residency by the Millay Colony. She was a  Finalist for the Lambda Award and a Silver Medalist for the Nautilus Award. Her work has been featured in Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times, among others. Source

Mind Over Matter

I tried. But mind over matter is a joke. The mind

is matter. Someone’s unprofessional opinion

was to “relax” over matter. To sandcastle over

wave. They aimed to clean up a murder scene

from behind a plate of glass. It was my murder.

Mine. As if I could possess the firegrief that

possessed me. Wrestle the wind to the floor for

daring enter my house. But it’s just me down

there, gripping my shoulders, threatening my

own heart. Have you ever seen the dark split

into two peaches? Sickness is a lot like that.

To the uninitiated it looks like fruit. Wise, shiny,

certifiably cherry. Do you mind if I die while I

say it? Rot that my teeth met: my fault. Would it

matter if I tried while I died? Will you relax

the coffin into the soil? If you don’t have blood

on your hands by the end of this you weren’t

listening.

Published:

2019

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

2022

Themes:

Doubt & Fear

Mental Health

Literary Devices:

Anthimeria

the replacement of one part of speech for another, often referred to as a “functional shift.”

Caesura

a break between words within a metrical foot

Enjambment

a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line

Metaphor

a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Personification

the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered

Varied syntax

diverse sentence structure