In The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips, Raymond Luczak recounts his unrequited love for a gardener while examining how Walt Whitman (1819–1892) lived as a gay man 150 years before. Inspired by the earthy passions abundant in Whitman’s work and the vast social changes between his era and ours, the story becomes an urgent love letter in more ways than one.
“The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips is an unabashed celebration of one man’s relationship to Walt Whitman: poet, publisher, lover, impromptu nurse, artistic creation, organism, man in full. Like Whitman himself, Raymond Luczak arrives at an unified vision of love in all of its poetic manifestations: sensual, sexual, and textual, a source of electric vistas and voluptuous possibilities of spiritual renewal. He provides precisely the kind of tender reassurance we cannot find words for some nights, but which we so desperately need.”— Eric Thomas Norris, co-author of Nocturnal Omissions
“In The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips, Raymond Luczak has awoken entwined in the arms of the American bard. And here is the bed chat and letters from one poet to another, a communion of fleshly living. Luczak has created a work in the tradition of Ginsberg’s odyssean dreaming of the lost America of love—a vibrant examination of what Whitman called a ‘richest fluency’ of historical gaiety and modern loving, and a clear transmission of honest affection across the ages.”— Dan Vera, author of Speaking Wiri Wiri