As both a psychologist and a poet, Sarah Rosenblatt has a unique advantage in dissecting the psyche of the average person. The family psychologist says she uses her work as a way of connecting with people, creating poems that speak to the curiousness of life and the human condition.

"I tend to write a lot about time passing, about human vulnerability, about - just the strangeness of time passing and the strangeness of kind of being alive, being human," says Sarah Rosenblatt. "That's definitely what interests me in general." 

Voyagerix / Fotolia

Have you ever been in a public space – after it’s closed to the public?  Poet and Lake Effect contributor Christianna Fritz has:

The Quiet Work

The mall is dark now,
rides folded with tentacle tucked in
brakes quiet
beast sleeping,
while something small, mouse or cockroach
scurries under a bench.

After closing time,
only the janitors make noise
swishing broom and humming vacuum,
comfortable silence of placing can in receptacle
mopping gelato from tile.

Poem: Chappaquiddick

Jul 11, 2016
3dmentat / Fotolia

It has been a tumultuous time in the United States, these past few days.  And it’s easy to think of ourselves on the crest of an historical wave.

But as a work by Milwaukee poet John Koethe makes clear, no one generation has a monopoly on social turmoil:

I hate believing that I grew up in a country
Better than the one I live in now. We were vaguely
Middle-class: my mother was a schoolteacher,
My father a Navy NCO, a former concert violinist

Poem: Para Jodi en Kansas City

Apr 21, 2016
timonko / Fotolia

To continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, Milwaukee poet Carmen Alicia Murguia recalls a special trip to Kansas City:

Poem: Drama and Lineage

Apr 13, 2016
Jim Bauer / Flickr

My students that one April were sudden, quixotic, real.

Teaching Oedipus the King came easy,

All the late arrivals started coming on time,

And I felt like a superstar teacher,

One with an electric tote bag, armed for irony,

Greek choruses, masks that show a character’s emotion.

[Oedipus worries the fates of his daughters

Down to the bone of his eye sockets.

Who would have them?

Who would surrender to their dirty seed beds?

Poem: Border Crossing

Jan 7, 2016
Beatrice Murch / Flickr

The idea of the borderless world is not necessarily gone.  But borders – in Europe and North America – are a very real part of 21st Century life.  We dip into the Lake Effect poetry archive for this 2008 recording from Milwaukee poet Carmen Murguia:

I did not ride the
TRUNK of a Chevy.
I was the driver!
I did not need my
They knew my name.
I did not apply for
I was born here!
¡Nací Aquí!

Bonnie North

For the past 40 years, the University of Milwaukee’s literary journal, Cream City Review, has been publishing stories, essays, poems, reviews and artwork from around the world. The journal is run by volunteers and receives almost 4,000 submissions a year.

Poem: Keys to the Kingdom

Sep 4, 2015
Joshua Smith / Flickr

Milwaukee poet Jaimee Hills, reading “Keys to the Kingdom,” from her new collection, called How to Avoid Speaking:

Poem: Sylvia’s Hives

Jul 13, 2015

The husband is a frozen wing of a bird,
flesh and feather yarned to bone.
They are bones, painted rooms, and shallow
pools bodies make when they exhaust everything.

The wife manages the shepherd's pie, jarred honey
extracted from her own swarming hives, where her
bees stung him on time in the face as she curled
herself on the bed nursing her newborn son.

Poem: Magician

May 18, 2015
aquarian_insight / Flickr

I can divine these brambles.
Or these gnarled flowers at my feet.
They obscure my heels as I
float on yellow horizons.
Tip the diagonal of my arms into
the numbers of years set down like dust.
I can, you see, lead you somewhere,
over rock and highland green.
I can conjure stone from earth
to make a window to another world.
Come with me. Take the tips of my fingers.
Interlace the leaves and set down
your sword, your wand.
You have no need for all the people
who make up your mind.

Librarian Reflects Motherhood in her Prose

Aug 7, 2014
Erin Lorandos

Motherhood is a very special chapter in the lives of women around the world. New mothers are showered with advice from family and friends. They no longer think of just themselves. Once they become a mother, their lives are changed forever.

Women often have difficult decisions to make when it comes to childrearing, trying to determine what is best for their child's future and what is best for them. Where is that perfect balance between work and family? What style of parenting will work the best?