Behind the aura
Will there ever be another e e cummings? If so, may I be his successor? I am so tired. Of many things. There are so many times—every time?—that I sit down to write and what flows from my brain to my fingertips—for whatever postmodern affliction I possess, I do not often find my most creative ideas on paper—is an act of posturing, of infinite self-awareness and irony, of exhaustive emotional labor. I don’t think e e cummings had this problem. He was a Republican, though, so I’m sure he had other problems. Maybe I don’t want to be the next e e cummings.
After all, I think you have to surrender a part of the essential self to become a truly great writer. Each word is like a slow drip of your sanity, until all that’s left is a reflection left on the page. Or maybe it’s not that serious.
The point is I’ve been away from writing for a while. And that frightens me. I know I want to be a great writer, but part of my reticence comes from holding on to the parts of myself that might need to be let go, for better or worse. In the husk, all that’s left could be a bundle of nerves and anxiety. There are certainly worse things, but yikes.
I’ve accepted that I want my writing to make people angry and confused. I have no pretension of wanting my art to be universally loved. Because in writing that is adored by everyone, I can’t impart my own love for what I do. Writing is selfish, and if you don’t like my writing, that’s on me, not you—but I’m not going to change a damn thing about it. There’s writing for everyone, but I am not the writer for everyone. And that’s okay.
Am I impetuous and immature? Absolutely. But how else will I learn how to fall gracefully?
Since I’m on my second page, I guess I should inject some levity here. By which I mean I’m just going to talk further about myself but just about fun things. So here are some updates on my life.
As is my wont, my mind locks into different obsessive grooves from time to time—I’m convinced it has to do with astrology—and my skincare regiment has come first and foremost. It all started with toner. On a whim, I bought a bottle of Dr. Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel toner, and my pores must’ve shrank tenfold. What a miracle product. All my face was used to was a thorough wash with face soap. I’ve expanded and evolved. My daily routine: cleanser, toner, essence, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, and the occasional exfoliator and face mask. I’m no Glossier rep, but being kinder to my skin has led to being kinder to myself… sometimes. Being more confident in my skin has also piqued my interest in makeup, and even though I have very little idea of what I’m doing, putting on some Cloud Paint and highlighter makes my skin glow and who doesn’t want their skin to glow?
I never had a Lady Gaga phase. My acceptance of my sexual identity coincided with Lady Gaga’s Cheek to Cheek phase, which… we don’t talk about. But as a cornerstone of gay culture, Lady Gaga should’ve been right up my alley. I just missed the Gaga train. But now I’m unabashedly on board. Obviously The Fame Monster is her best album and a flawless pop masterpiece, but in this house, yes, we stan ARTPOP and Joanne.
I really don’t know how to end this column. There’s already so much content. I guess if you’re looking a great book, Ocean Vuong’s poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds is absolutely terrific.
Luke Maguire, a senior, studies English. He is the Arts & Entertainment Editor of Le Provocateur.