“The Happy Meditator” by Katherine Huang

Ekphrastic Challenge, September 2018: Editor’s Choice


Back of the Beach by Karen Kraco

Image: “Back of the Beach” by Karen Kraco. “The Happy Meditator” was written by Katherine Huang for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, September 2018, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Katherine Huang


With a leg-cross
onto his skateboard,
he cropped himself

from the mirage.
No longer afraid
to be discovered

by the pale
shiny people who
populated the beach,

bleaching the oasis
with their sunscreen,
he became

again, solid enough
to hear the rustle

of summer leaves.
When his mother
called, he tried

to explain to her
how he could depart
instantly from places

when they no longer
seemed real: the city,
the lakeside, the closeness

of today, leaving behind
not so much a shadow
as a doorway open to


from Ekphrastic Challenge
September 2018, Editor’s Choice


Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “It’s not often that my favorite aspect of a poem is the line breaks, but that’s the case here; they’re perfect. There’s a both a tension and a touch of surprise in every new line as the poem slowly winds its way down the page, and the effect is perfectly meditative. I also loved that the poem centers around what seemed to me the most interesting detail of the photograph—the way that the figure appears physically separate from it, as if he’s practicing zazen in front of a green screen.”

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