Sharon Gilbert (So Quiet)

Monday, October 01, 2012


Sharon Gilbert and Vyt Bakaitis had two children, Ellery and Elena Bakaitis. Elena helped design several print issues of Unmuzzled OX.  Vyt's most recent book of poems Deliberate Proof features poems about Sharon.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

My father spent 2001 dying. I would drive from TriBeCa north of the World Trade Center, up Highway 81 through Camp Drum, N.Y., to Kingston, Ontario. After 9/11 the WTC burned for six months. I smelled it everywhere, even in Kingston. I decided my clothes and shoes must be contaminated and started to discard. Finally my doctor said I had sinusitis. Many TriBeCa people had sinusitis. My father died of a brain tumor 11/14. He had once stayed at the W.T.C. Marriott and so would watch the collapsing towers as they played over and over on television, but he couldn’t understand. Sharon in the WTC plume caught fatal lung cancer. In October, 2001, driving back to New York, the local Watertown newspaper said soldiers from Camp Drum were in Afghanistan. Two days later it was in The New York Times. In September I had written Michael Wilding, the Australian novelist, that US troops would be in Kabul by Christmas and Baghdad by Easter. I was more or less right but Baghdad has been, let’s say, problematic. I demonstrated like so many against that disastrous invasion. Whether the “surge” worked or not, Obama has been crowned Prez. The Watertown Daily Times on Washington Street in Watertown continues to turn out material on the soldiers of the Tenth Mountain Division in and out of Afghanistan, and offers me, every time I’m there, an up-close perspective of America’s vengeful 21st century wars.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2003, I took Vyt, Sharon Gilbert and my mother to Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme on Broadway. We had lunch first at Victor's. Sharon, Vyt and Mom were great company, but I felt like I squandered $500, for La Boheme featured half an orchestra and thin students with thin voices.

That day, as today, woody blossomers shed their petals. That May may ever!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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 26 April 2008 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 Sharon Gilbert 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. I entered St James Church at the last second.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

My mother died last week. Some years ago I was visiting my mother in Canada and I happened to phone Sharon. She told me her husband, Vyt Bakaitis, had just lost his mother. Vyt and I are too old to call ourselves orphans. But Sharon left two motherless children, Ellery and Elena. Elena's first job in high school was working for me at Unmuzzled OX. We get old, we fall apart, we die. Hah, hah!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Courtney Martin gave an excellent lecture on Sharon's work Thursday September 20 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Arts of the Book Collection, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Go see it!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here's a good piece on Sharon's work, which was just posted:

I'm working to get them to make the rightful correction to "OakRidge/Tennesse."