Not Photometry
#1
Not Photometry


Whiteness is a way of being
you, too, can assume

(regardless of your plumbing,
pigment, socioeconomic
or genetic background)

if you’re good enough.
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#2
(10-17-2018, 10:10 PM)dukealien Wrote:  Not Photometry


Whiteness is a way of being
you, too, can assume

(regardless of your plumbing,
pigment, socioeconomic
or genetic background)

if you’re good enough.
So, I'm having a hard time getting this.

Not photometry, so not measuring human light perception or the result not being accepted photometry.

That led me to the brightest perceptible light, or goodness, against a background of the same.  Enlightenment.

But I fear I am sorely mistaken and missing something big here.  Hysterical

Maybe I'll have better luck later. Confused
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#3
the play on the couplet made me think twice so i read it a few more times and it works as a run in to the next stanza. i also like the the sharp ending. not keen on the title as i have no idea what it means Big Grin enoyed the short poem though

(10-17-2018, 10:10 PM)dukealien Wrote:  Not Photometry


Whiteness is a way of being
you, too, can assume

(regardless of your plumbing,
pigment, socioeconomic
or genetic background)

if you’re good enough.
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#4
I see the title is a problem.  To the extent that I was thinking of anything there, it was not the modern light meter but the ancient school photometer - a short, non-reflective black or white rod which could be clamped into a lab stand.  It could be used to compare cast shadows on a screen (darker, lighter, what color, matching) or the illumination on two sides, or against a background.  Qualitatively, for the most part, rather than quantitatively like a light meter.

Then negate that.

Sort of a throw-away, then.  The poem could probably do (better?) without it, but then you have "Untitled" at the top, or nothing.

I'm interested in reactions to the body of the poem:  who sees what, and whether they then see anything else beyond that initial reaction; apparently the title is a distraction.   My bad for not choosing better.

Thanks for your valuable reactions, @ellajam and @billy.
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#5
the last line explains the rest. nothing matters if you're good enough. that race creed colour size etc are inconsequential when gauging a person's quality. at least it's what i get. and the title; if you think it doesn't work, think of another one.
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#6
I'm getting really strong privilege overtones here -- that "whiteness" is only actually bestowed on the deserving, and that "not whiteness" can be transformed into "whiteness" if you're famous or impressive enough.
It could be worse
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#7
The title implies a link but not really to photometry, so perceived brightness/whiteness by the human eye, is about acceptance of our own self worth, be the person you want people to see and if you are decent enough person and believe in yourself, then nothing else matters.

The use of whiteness takes the reader to racial comparison and to me it implies that the base measurement for self improvement is about how like white we can be, so this threw me off the scent a bit when trying to follow the meaning behind the words. My suggestion would be to change the title to photometry and change whiteness to brightness. This imho would let the positive message in the poem shine through. Best Keith

If your undies fer you've been smoking through em, don't peg em out
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#8
Dynamite replies, all.  Have to run, better appreciation later.

Quick idea for replacement title:  "Passing" - would it help? Huh
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#9
(10-18-2018, 10:08 PM)dukealien Wrote:  Dynamite replies, all.  Have to run, better appreciation later.

Quick idea for replacement title:  "Passing" - would it help? Huh

Quik reply No!!!

If your undies fer you've been smoking through em, don't peg em out
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#10
You all seem to be talking about science. I don't know much about sciene. It's a little too New Age-y for me. Where's Ray and Tectak? They were our local technical experts. Or was it mushrooms . . . with Tectak? Tectak, Technical. Now I get it. Word association.
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#11
@Keith - noted, one emphatic vote against that title change.

@all -

When I first looked back at this after writing it, my reaction was similar to @Leanne's - Holy Hannah!  Did I actually say that? - but the second more like @billy#2 and @Keith#1.  If this were ever pubished (oops!  it's already out there in the Miscellaneous shop-window), I wonder how many would have the outraged reaction and look no further (or the same, inverted, as "Hell, yes!" and look no further), and how many the "only quality matters" reaction either first or second ("quality" in the Pirsig/Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sense). Or something completely different, like @ellajam's... none of which is wrong.
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#12
(10-17-2018, 10:10 PM)dukealien Wrote:  I read this as a wry comment. Closer, perhaps, to Leanne's "strong privilege overtones", only the privilege, I think, is something the speaker recognizes. 

Whiteness is a way of being
you, too, can assume "assume" is one of the piece's litmus tests, I think, especially as it can mean so much. There's assume as in to take, as in the Assumption of the Theotokos; then there's assume as in to suppose, as in assuming someone's virtue is already lost; then there's assume as in to wear, such as assuming a black satin gown; and then there's assume as in to feign, as in assuming blackness by listening to A Tribe Calls Quest. None of those usages are particularly deprecated, although my read of this as something rather caustic is influenced by how the potentially bad readings outnumber the good. 

Well, that, and fuck "whiteness" --- biologically speaking, it's a rather meaningless category, there's more genetic diversity from within the continent of Africa than there is between the anthropologically (or, from a historical lens, colonially) established races; ethically speaking, I'm pretty sure white people have done more bad overall than all the other races, especially when you see how a lot of the problems developing (ie, majority non-white) nations have are rooted in colonialism; and aesthetically speaking, Talking Heads' "Remain in Light", [b]Paul Simon's "Graceland", every white rapper ever, every white jazz musician ever, etc, just to name a few black examples.[/b]

(regardless of your plumbing, To take that caustic reading another level, I take "plumbing" as something scatological, but then I'm sure I'm missing something --- something I already know, I further bet, but have just worked myself into currently forgetting.
pigment, socioeconomic
or genetic background) But then there's all of this. "pigment, socioeconomic, / or genetic background" --- Oxford comma added and suggested --- anyways, "genetic", as I've already pointed out, of course, but "pigment, socioeconomic," is too obvious a dig to ignore. I think Jay-Z says it best, in the following song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM7lw0Ovzq0

And again, that's just the black example. But I can't help it --- I might be 100% brown-skinned Filipino, but I'm also black at heart. Which of course means I'm white at heart.

if you’re good enough. And this is the final nail in the coffin. The coffin, for me, being the poem looking at all this with a very critical eye. There are only two folks who say "good enough": capitulators and assholes.

I can't quite call this a "lovely work" --- fact is, the piece might not be saying all that, it's too elusive --- but neither is that elusiveness particularly bad. At best, it's uneasy --- at worst, it's dangerous, and in this political climate (everywhere, not just where white vs nonwhite seemingly matters most), it's more likely to be at its worst. Really, the piece is a year or two too late, and I don't think this is an issue where moderation can mean ambiguity.
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