Someone sent me a plastic Buddha in the post. There was no return address just a plain brown wrapper. He was squat and soapy green and listed to the left since his bottom wasn’t milled properly. He had sharp spurs on his feet like a toy soldier.
This was years ago when I had friends. “Who would anonymously send me a kitsch Buddha was the most obvious question. Was it a prank or perhaps a warning? I was a recent graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Was it literary criticism? It seemed like a thing one poet would do to another either with or without a true motive. That was the thing. He represented motiveless long distance tomfoolery. Or so I told myself. I put him next to Wallace Stevens in my bookcase.
Why not a plastic Buddha? Why not silk flowers in the wintry north? So what he isn’t quite upright?
I knew where he came from alright.