Still, who am I to complain? This makes three poems for me in The Age now – perhaps making me some kind of poetic “regular”, although I won’t be going too far with that kind of talk.
Here’s the poem in close-up:
I wrote the poem in July 2005, after travelling between New York City and Washington DC by bus and seeing a sign on the New Jersey Turnpike pointing to the “Walt Whitman Service Area”, which turned out to be a kind of petrol station/fast food franchise/pit-stop area. There were several other service areas along the turnpike named after famous people, however I can’t recall who they were.
Incidentally, “The Turnpike Down” is a song by The Lemonheads, off their It’s a Shame About Ray mini-album.