3 Poems (James Lindley)


one of the cool things 

about being alive 

is slowly learning 

the little dance 

you know how to do 

first at parties in college 

and then at weddings 

and then much later 

in the open space 

of a hallway 

or a living room 

when there is nothing 

and you have nothing to say 

and everything is very heavy 

but still this small dance 

not more than a wiggle 

offered as a middle finger 

to the world


what if I called everyone dude 

and meant it 

in the purest sense of the word 

without gender or exaggeration 

just the gentle resonance of compassion 

and a sense of communion

a sense of drinking from the same bottle

and making room on the bus

a sense of that polite handwave in traffic

when you let someone into a lane

a sense that someday this will all end 

but today the warm air of early evening 

sitting in ripped jeans on a skateboard 

in a parking lot nowhere 

and feeling the moment 

someone else lands a move


and a good day is just 

making someone you love laugh 

or not even laugh but smile 

or not even smile 

but purse their lips slightly 

and acknowledge the effort 

the fact that you tried 

and it was maybe 

a little amusing 

or not even amusing 

but still appreciated 

or not even 

someone you love 


James Lindley is a human person writing things on the Internet. He is currently working on a sequel to Beowulf – it’s about a guy that has a tough time doing the dishes but ugh he gets around to them eventually. You can see his recent work on Twitter at DuendeonFuego (@duendeenf) and in Whiptail: A Journal of the Single-Line Poem. 


image: Syreeta Muir would love some fries with this shake.  She has been Pushcart nominated by Versification and The Disappointed Housewife. Words in The Daily Drunk Mag, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Misery Tourism, and The Bear Creek Gazette. A gallery of her photography is in Barren Magazine. Some of her Art and words are also coming up in The Viridian Door. She Twitters and Instagrams as @hungryghostpoet. Is almost definitely not a cannibal.