On a combustibile moment such as this, with Putin’s Ukrainian war poisoning the atmosphere,what could America and Russia still have in common?
Experimental poetry is the unlikely answer. And, even more unlikely, it took a bunch of devoted Italian experimentalists to pose the question, amidst a cacophony of voices, sounds, and background noises, that to the untrained minds, eyes and ears, appears to make no sense.
This in essence is the object–or rather one of the objects–of the closing grand finale of an extraordinary happening with a highly unusual title: “The Reappearing Pheasant. The allusion to the multicolored bird, made popular in American literature by Sylvia Plath and other authors, is of course allegorical.
The elusive rara avis is Poetry itself; rare but persistently sought after, both in consumerist America and in censorship-stricken Putinist Russia. In both countries, young Generation Z people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, do not watch television anymore, or read printed media. A similar process, admittedly on a smaller scale, is happening in Italy, a nation that for millennia was in the forefront of cultural renovation, but is now demographically an elderly country, where new ideas do not thrive.
Being told “the truth” by television anchors was enough for older generations, but not anymore. Internet poets such as Russia’s Polina Banskova and Anna Glazova poetically manage to evade Russia’s obtuse official brainwashing. America’s Millennials, like the poet-on-the-move Atticus and Karachi-born blogger Noor Unnahar, are showing the way. Internet poetry or poetry on public transport are simply new tools for evading conventional thinking, or plain disinformation.
In this context, a bold experiment that concluded the “Reappearing Pheasant” American-Italian cultural meeting in New York’s was the hard to pronounce “Xantablackz”. An apt ending, described as a “verbiage and sounding event for current communization with conventional and electronic sounds”. Sounds and gestures speak occasionally better than simple words. Poetry after all, as every student or scholar of Classical Greek knows, comes from the verb οιεω. To create in essence. The medium is the message.