You can't blame the people of Long Island. Until recently, most cultural, literary, and historic landmarks were hard to find. As a reader of blog posts with Whitman in the title you might not believe me, but it seems that more Long Islanders have heard of the Walt Whitman Mall than its namesake.
For the record, Walt Whitman was born on Long Island and the mall came second.
When my children were younger, I would explore the small grounds of his birthplace, have a picnic and visit the museum and interpretive center. So much has changed! The WWBA now offers regular programing and some are over zoom so visits can happen without leaving your house.
I wrote the poem "Concrete Walt" with all of our multitudes in mind. In the spirit of Whitman, I imagined the Indigenous Long Islanders, the sailors and farmers, shoppers at the mall across the street, bugs and birds hiding in trees, the pollution below. All of it.
The land where the mall sits...