CHUMS

“It was The Great Purge of the 90s. “Religion faced the greatest threat from three groups: feminists, homosexuals and intellectuals,” said Boyd K. Packer, a General Authority, in a speech in 1993. In the fall of 1993, six Mormon writers were rebuked for their feminist intellectual leanings. They became the “September Six.” We felt the ripple. We were reading and thinking people. We read Sunstone, a Mormon intellectual magazine, and thought about our heavenly mother. You are not supposed to think about heavenly mother, only heavenly father. Heavenly mother is sacred. You cannot talk about her.”

“I don’t wear the sacred garments, shake the secret handshakes, whisper my secret name. I carry a slew of identities. I do not believe any of it. The still small voice. The tingles and bosom burning, but I still search for it, through the altered states of art and language. A spirituality. I leave one country for another and another and another and another and another and another. Where do you come from is a question I receive in every new country.”

Mormonism, small town Utah, baptism for the dead, Prague, Katowice, hippy days in the Northwest of America.

My lyric essay, “Chums,” just published at The Art of Everyone.

Read it here