December 19, 2009

Now that the issue of omphaloskepsis has been settled, I have been asked by almost one person, “Why Cat?” In fact, this blog is partially named in honor of my daughter’s former cat, Casey, who died tragically of boredom at the age of 127 human years. She (originally before neutering) was a genuine omphaloskeptic cat. She spent her days meditating on a ball of wool. However, we will never know if she achieved enlightenment or the equivalent of cat Nirvana. RIP Casey Cat, wherever you may be.


December 19, 2009

Omphaloskepsis is the act of meditating on one’s navel in order to achieve enlightenment.
It becomes transcendental meditation, in which an individual focuses on a single word, a mantra, the eternal OM, in order to achieve the divine. It becomes hypnosis, in which the subject focuses on a swinging watch or pen to a background of soothing and rhythmic words in order to reach past memories and subconscious states. It is prayer. It is poetry, in which the reader focuses on sounds, words, phrases, images, and metaphors in order to go to another place, another time, another state of consciousness and new understandings–to achieve enlightenment.


December 19, 2009

I have just published my first chapbook of poetry, a short, booklet-sized volume of sixteen poems evoked by works of Surrealist art: “Illlusions Delusions and Dreams: Visions of the Surreal in Art,” available online at An excerpt:

Love Parade
(Francis Picabia, oil on canvas, 1917)

When machines fall in love
There are few complaints
Only the wonder that their circuits spark.

There are no questions
Of polarity or cultural class
Mechanical differences so slight
That they cannot be engineered
Or how they would raise their young.

The take a vow
Like the rest of us
I do take thee to be my mate
To have and to hold
In sickness and in health
Till death do us part
Knowing that death is rust
As it is with the rest of us.

They raise families, go to church
Where they worship an electrical god
Who gave them life
And the promise of not being
Stripped, disassembled and junked.

They work and seldom sleep
Devote their lives to the greater good
Face the usual dilemmas of their kind
and ours.

They grow old and their armatures creak
And then they die
Just like the rest of us.