In the 1950s, Harry Harlow performed a controversial psychological experiment in which he separated baby monkeys from their mothers and placed them in isolation for months. The effects included: mental distress, depression, aggression towards self and others, and obliteration of social instincts. Animal rights supporters’ outrage led to the criticism of solitary confinement for humans in prison — if the effects were this debilitating for monkeys trapped in a cage, how then can humans cope with the same conditions? On a larger scale, the past year (2020) has introduced large swaths of Earth’s population to governmental lockdowns due to COVID-19. Though much of the world has since reopened, we have been faced with the reality of isolation and its trade-offs when it comes to contracting COVID-19. “The Rabbit Hutch” grapples with the effects of social isolation and the desire for freedom despite what might be waiting for the narrator outside of lockdown.
Anti-capitalism is growing in popularity in Western countries — nearly half of Millennials and Gen-Z’ers disapprove of capitalism. Wealth accumulation is viewed as exploitative and damaging to the human condition.
The following poems address the failure of the current US administration to respond to the pandemic, as well as its systematic denial of science and sidestepping of the Constitution and Rule of Law. The lies, abandonment of responsibility, and stoking of divisiveness have caused and continue to cause fear, chaos, hatred, violence, and death.