Doug Anderson: Walt Whitman at the Huntington Malls along Walt Whitman Avenue
I celebrate myself even amid this sheet-rocked temple of kitsch,
even in the asphalt tributaries of traffic in which giant Bentleys
bumble like Junebugs through the lesser Hondas of the sales staff,
Mercedes 500s carrying the princes of multinational excess,
Nordstroms, Macy’s, and further down the Marshalls
and Dollar Tree where the service class shop,
all sandwiched between the darling ports and ferry-fed boutiques.
Yes, I celebrate myself from the bottom of the well at the house
of my birth struggling like a flower through a crack in concrete
just off the Old Walt Whitman Road, surrounded by Walt Whitman
real estate, Walt Whitman Dental and Medical Clinics
full of the ailing rich, and the patrons of reconstructed youth.
I warm my soul to poetry and wander amid the numbed out
salesgirls swallowing the continuous assault on their dignity.
I celebrate the Greek Omelet I gobble down at the diner
next to Starbucks, wandering past the MGM spa
with its two stone lions flanking the entrance to
the anybody-can-be-a-star tanning beds and facial massage chairs,
even amid this I keep my soul lit like a flame cupped against the storm.
Oh, Long Island, bought with baubles from the unsuspecting,
now all baubles and Babble and babble on to Babylon.