Angela Rydell

Angela Rydell
Angela Rydell has work published or forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, The Sun, Alaska Quarterly and other journals. She is a recipient of Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award and holds an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College.

The Magician's Hat of Holes

Pull to press it over your eyes, and darkness answers,
and tightness, but tug harder and it opens
into your mind, widens and gives

and you're inside. Light flickers, as if from a fountain,
in air the thickness of a cloudy night.
Beyond the edges, stars appear.  

You smell salt of the sea, the burn of spent sparks,
feel the heat of trapped doves
whose feathers float by now and then, especially

when you run a hand along the strangeness of the sides,
smooth as bridal satin, rough as peasant's wool
or cool and worn as windblown leather

of a motorcyclist who can't seem to keep from going too fast.  
And you can't help but finger the puckered gashes
of the flower-covered holes—

touch them and it's proof there's a rift, but stare
and they twist into streaming scarves,
endlessly disappear.  

There's no bottom, but rabbit droppings abound,
and a bubbling from underneath,
murmurs sharpened by far off wisps of sonar,

dark fragmented vowels,
consonants that stretch and break,
syllables trying to find shape.

Light Arrow

I want to be a sparrow's light arrow
of purpose, body a sharpened point
of view, drawn from a twig
to a snarl of ground, yoked
by a mind born loosely
in the soft down of escape,
raised knowing the place of lice,
the wick of rain and relief of flight,
no plight of questions
to complicate a berry's red sense.