As Allen Ginsberg was known as the Beat poet, John Cage was the Silent composer. His most famous work is 4’ 33” of Silence.
I published a lot of Cage’s writing. On the morning of 11 September 2001, I had it all in the Kinko’s on Reade Street, and was determined to make it into a book. But the building shook. I said to myself, “Gas explosion. Someone’s been careless.” I looked out the window. There were flames a couple blocks south. Damn careless! I resumed my work with greater care. Eventually there was another explosion. Parts of the World Trade Center bounced off the window. People outside were running. Only the cashier and I remained in Kinko’s. “Oh my God,” she said on her cell. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.”
I danced the John Cage Waltz starting precisely at 3:00pm 10 September 2009 at the southern foot of Trinity Place and then concluding north of there in the middle of James Street at 3:40.33pm. I walked silently past the site of the WTC. It was a mediation and a mourning. I mourn John Cage and Emily Harvey and my mother who died March 6 and the victims of 9/11 and the many more victims of miasmal America’s horrible revenge.
I walked to a waltz composed by Elodie Lauten. It was a mournful procession. I entered St James Church at the last second.