Poetry Talk

Poetry by Sloane Angelou

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Sloane Angelou is a 2021 Eloquent Mag poetry winner for the theme // N O S T A L G I A //.

The One Minute Man

By Sloane Angelou

this conversation with this man

it started by the poolside

there was no reason except there was a job to do

we both had jobs to do; by the poolside

I, minding my business was offered an apology

which I took for no reason except there was a job to do

we both had jobs to do and mine required some privacy

so this conversation with this man

it started for no reason

led to an exchange of numbers; two numbers

1. I don’t drink – I can’t get you a bottle of whiskey

2. I can take you to buy it but I cannot be seen with it

that should have been a sign – a red flag

okay how about pizza

we will eat then I can eat you – if you like

he laughed for no reason

that should have also been a sign – a red flag

but traffic lights never stops a thunderstorm from rolling

baby I am the brief rain that follows the heavy storm

a tease

I do not bend to man’s will

my wife and my children, I will make them happy and then I can focus on my work

excuse me

yes my wife – I have to get home because I have a curfew with my wife

I did not know you were married

help me connect the dots between your religious abstinence from alcohol ; lasting for less than one minute in my warmth ; leaving me with an unappeased libido ; and your unfaithfulness to your wife…

a mild irritation

an acquaintance turned enemy

a blocked contact.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sloane Angelou is a storyteller and writer of West African origin; passionate about learning of human existence by interrogating human experiences. They exist in liminal spaces.

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Poetry Talk

Poetry by Jagruti Verma

Jagruti Verma is a 2021 winner of the Eloquent Mag poetry theme // N O S T A L G I A //.

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Missing

By Jagruti Verma


your hand would clutch the handlebar tight

eyes twinkling at the thought of mine

your bag would sling over your shoulders

hiding away groceries I listed in the morning

your back would lean against the hard metal

resting as you laugh over my recent rant

your sweat would spill all over your shirt

forcing my perfume to come undone

your feet would find a way home

tracing steps from when we could love

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shuttling between two metropolitan cities in India, Jagruti Verma is a journalist striving to make a living off words. If you fall under her good people radar, you will make a friend for life. 

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Uncategorized

Womxn and Romance

There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Single at 30. Here’s Why. 

By JD Brant 

The first time I was aware that my status as a single woman made people uncomfortable was on a business trip to Boston a year and a half ago. We were nearing the end of our trip and waiting for our return flight home. The gaggle of girls I was traveling with sped up in front of the new hires (there were three of us), and headed for the gift shop at the other end of the airport. One of the lead sales people turned around, and with an agitated snarl, like a cat whose tail just got stepped on, said, “We’re stopping at the gift shop for a minute, because [dramatic pause]…we have husbands and children.” They skipped along their merry way, leaving the team of new people in their dust.

The insult was clearly hurled at me. I was the only single person in the new hire group. It stung. It stung when they rejoined the group later on in the seating area. It stung when we boarded the plane. It stung while I tried to nap on the plane, and couldn’t let go of that mini dagger (I first thought maybe I misinterpreted her comment, but after ruminating on it for a while, I realized that I was pretty accurate in my assumption) hurled at me with calculation. I was a threat—not because I did my job sufficiently, or because I refused to stay up and party in our hotel room (I can’t say the same for the sales team). It was because I was single, and they weren’t.

There’s this stigma that, once a woman hits a certain age, her eggs shrivel and her tits sag. I mean, biologically speaking, that’s true, but being single after 30 doesn’t mean you have to curl up in a ball and die, for real. If you ask me, life begins at 30 (I’ve picked up so many new interests, it’s exciting). Some studies call this unwed and childless state a marker of social infertility, and the trend exists in both womxn and men, for different reasons. Speaking from the womxn’s perspective, I can attest to two narrowly-defined stereotypes we are pegged as over the course of our singledom: the “Long Island Lolita” and the “Cat Lady.”

When I’m introduced to married or shacked-up couples, it’s either one of the two, with the man in the relationship asking me if I carry a lint roller everywhere I go (my neighbor’s boyfriend had assumed that because I was single, that I should probably adopt five cats, since I have all that time to spare outside of all my other responsibilities, don’t cha know) and the womxn in the relationship assuming that Rent-a-Mistress sent me (wherever that is, is it a real place? Not sure). These are two extremely dangerous and idiotic stereotypes that hinder womxn from flourishing during a period of well-deserved (and well-earned) self-growth. 

In a world where anxiety and internalized demons often nudge us toward codependency, singledom can also be perceived as uncompromised allegiance to the security of, and faith in, oneself. The more time you spend alone, the more time you have to wrestle with past insecurities, relationship flops, and general inquiries of the soul. This makes a person more steadfast in cultivating the life they truly want to share with another individual, a life of focused resilience.

When both people do this unglamorous but necessary legwork, it makes the relationship healthier in the long run. In doing my own introspective dirty work, I’ve been able to break the horrible habit of romanticizing partners before I actually get to know them past the “mystique” of casual exchanges. This is because I am fiercely independent, capable of loving strongly because I’ve been single for so long. But this is also the number one thing I believe so many adults continue to do while playing the dating game. They tabulate ideals and expectations in a pseudo match that may create resentment in their partner down the road, or, they offer up their love to the wrong person completely, without question. For the people who’ve done both, staying single makes sense.

If you’re 30 and single, it can mean that you’ve investigated yourself. It means you’re not interested in rushing into a situation that could cause anxiety, guilt, or resentment before you’re ready to. It means you’ve developed a love for things outside of a singular idea of love and an idealized concept of romance. More people are choosing to stay single longer, and so I feel that the media should simply back off of casting womxn and men into the “young, single, and sexy” spotlight; even with showers of compliments, there’s an inherent societal pressure thrust upon us to perform for friends, for family, for co-workers. Womxn like Mindy Kaling, an actress who manages to dodge the “hard-ass” career woman stereotype, shouldn’t be interrogated about what it’s like to be a single mother. Neither should feminist allies like Michael B. Jordan. From a journalist’s perspective, we should stop asking our few 21st-century “modern womxn” icons how it feels to be single and just let them live as single people. It’s not a deficiency. Singledom is a lifestyle, a healthy choice for healthy people.

CONNECT WITH JD: Twitter | Instagram

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