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||July 5, 2012
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A candid and romantic collection of poetry, prose and paintings which culminates in a marriage proposal -- private in nature, but made public here for all to read because the personal is still political.
This book is written as a marriage proposal to Charles Stephen Hughes, my domestic companion for going on fourteen years now. I want him to be my husband, and I want to be his husband. I’m inviting you to read this proposal because I want my declaration of love for this man to be entered into the realm of public knowledge, to be on the record, to be a publication. You see, this isn’t the first time I’ve asked him this question. His answer has always been that he’ll answer the question when the outcome can be legally recognized as a marriage. And not a marriage “equivalent”; he wants the full force of history behind the word for our relationship. He wants a marriage, and so do I.
My hope is that making a public declaration of what I believe a marriage would mean to us as a couple will accomplish two ends. First and foremost, I hope and trust that Charles Stephen will find my vision of our life together worthy of joining me in making that commitment. Likewise, I hope that those who read these words will find the commitment I propose worthy of the word marriage. These are words I’ve written to him over the nearly fourteen years of our knowing each other. I offer them to him, to you and to the world as evidence that we, along with all same-sex couples who wish to commit their lives to each other, are meant and deserve to be together in a state of lawfully wedded bliss.
Stephen, my love,
Held securely in your arms
I relax my time becomes easy
I experience what it means
to love you forever
and endings disappear
and all that matters
are your arms holding me
close to your warmth
We begin and end our days
in each other’s arms
and whenever we need
we seek that place
of comfort and renewal
Most of what we know
of one another
we’ve learned from touch
You press intimate
through openings, probe
within places of me
that I cannot see, you
rub against my secrets
and make them your own
bring me with you
to where our knowledge
of each other breaks
into ecstasy, you place
gently within me
your love promises
to open more each day
with all my love,
Pouring Out in Full & Passionate Force
5.0 out of 5 stars
IndieReader Review, February 5, 2013
By Amy Edelman
This review is from: Bliss: A Marriage Proposal - For Charles Stephen Hughes (Kindle Edition)
BLISS is a collection of poetry and short prose--romantic, erotic, sensual and affectionate--from one man to another, the love of his life.
It is intended to tell the story of the relationship from beginning to marriage proposal (hopefully not the end!), pouring out the author's heart onto the page in full and passionate force.
The emotions expressed are deep, obviously genuine, and so personal and intense that a reader almost turns aside at times, blushing, from what feels like an invasion of the lovers' most sacred private moments. From the humorous "Attack of the Oil-Based Enamel Black Paint" to the intensely sensual "My Music Man" and the tender "Nap", the poems resonate with anyone who's ever been deeply in love, painting a picture that everyone who's ever felt those feelings can appreciate and enjoy.
Some of the poems are more successful than others - occasionally, the poet struggles too hard in some works to explain the feelings that he has deftly illustrated in others, and the language can at times a bit forced. But most often, they ring with absolute sincerity and emotional force, and even in the least successful of the poems, the love shines through and warms the heart.
BLISS is a beautiful declaration of love from a fine poet, and deserves to be cherished by anyone who appreciates the emotion. A sympathetic reader cannot help but share in the happy glow of the couple, and to wish them a long and loving life together.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader
True Love Commits
Bliss: A Marriage Proposal - True Love Commits
Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Philip D. Luing
By Todd A. Fonseca (Minneapolis, MN)
Luing's collection of prose and poetry to his longtime partner Stephen is a gift to readers. These intensely personal and emotional writings could have remained private, for only lovers to share, but as Luing mentions in his dedication our society continues to make the personal political. My hope is that through sharing their experiences, society may better appreciate the personal and one day remove the political.
Bliss starts with the "meet cute" between Philip and Charles Stephen. Returning from a dance concert, Philip stops in for a quick drink at a nearby bar where he unexpectedly meets a somber Charles Stephen; a close friends battle with liver cancer is the cause of Stephen's mood. But Philip is quickly drawn to Stephen and a relationship blossoms. They move in together and as the seasons pass, their love grows. Philip's gift is his writing and he conveys in wonderful verse their anniversaries, holidays, and everyday life. The story of remaking their entire bedroom because of the purchase of one slightly too large chair was whimsical while the poem "Wrinkle Cream" beautifully describes how life inscribes itself on Stephen's face as Philip ponders which lines if any are his.
As the title betrays, the story culminates in a beautiful marriage proposal from Philip. Charles Stephen closes the book with his touching thoughts.
I cannot thank both of them enough for sharing their story with all of us.
Congratulations to you both
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Philip D. Hughes-Luing