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Quick Q with a Creative: Erika Lobati

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Erika Lobati 4

Erika Lobati, a junior from Springfield, uses poetry as not only a creative outlet but as a form of therapy.

Erika Lobati is a junior from Springfield, Missouri studying film and psychology with a minor in Spanish at the University of Kansas. Lobati is a writer who, among other things, creates and performs spoken word poetry.

I WOULD SAY THAT I AM VERY MUCH A WRITER AT HEART. Poetry for me is something that, yes it's a hobby, it’s something that I do in my free time, but it's also, in my past, it's been a form of therapy and just processing through my emotions, processing through my life experiences.

AS MUCH AS IT HELPS ME, I THINK THAT THE POETRY THAT I WRITE CAPTURES A VERY SPECIFIC EXPERIENCE THAT OTHER PEOPLE RELATE TO IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, so by me performing it publicly, I’m able to inform people around me about my experience that don’t relate to it or kind of affirm the experiences of other people who do relate to it. Whether it's the experience of me being a woman or me being Black or just mental health issues, so I think that it's a way to communicate with other people, like yes I affirm myself, but it's also a way to encourage other people in knowing that they’re not alone in their experiences.

Erika Lobati reading one of her pieces, titled "Rumination."

I FEEL LIKE IF I JUST FEEL DRIVEN TO WRITE SOMETHING, I JUST WRITE IT, THERE'S NO HARM IN IT. It really is just like I’ll have those moments of just kind of like sudden inspiration lowkey, where I’m just thinking about the experience, and I just start saying words that kind of sound good together about it and I just start writing and it kind of flows together on the page. So I don't really outline like I’m going to write a poem about this, about that, they kind of just happen when they happen.

BE NICE TO THE PAST VERSION OF YOURSELF. Because I’ve had conversations with people, I used to even do this where I used to look up my old poetry and was like, “Oh what was I even talking about, I was being so dramatic,” and all that stuff, and it’s like that was a person who was being vulnerable with their emotions and was bold enough to write it down and to try to capture their experience the best they could.

Poet Erika Lobati reading her piece "Single (in progress).

THERE’S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT THE RHYTHM AND THE CADENCE OF POETRY THAT JUST, IT’S LIKE EAR CANDY, it’s like something you just want to keep listening to, especially with spoken word artists, I mean it’s like so eerily similar to music at times.

YOU REALLY CAN BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE WHILE ALSO BEING AS GENERAL AS POSSIBLE, in the sense that it’s like you're capturing these really common emotions that people have dealt with while talking about it through your own specific experience, so even if somebody hasn’t exactly experienced that exact situation that you are highlighting in the poem, it's like, well the way that they were able to verbalize that emotion really connected me because I’ve experienced that. Or even if they haven’t experienced that emotion, it's almost like you verbalize it in such a way or present it in such a way that they almost feel like they have. 

I MIGHT TAKE BREAKS FROM IT, not intentionally, there might be points in my life where I’m not really writing a lot of poetry, maybe I’m writing stand up instead, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing poetry honestly. 

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester.

Guy: Maybe she's dead.

Girl: Or studying abroad.

Girl: They're like oil and water.

Guy: Wow, you're so good with analogies.