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The Oppressor Among Us

by Nic Laurie Orland Koller

Getting buttoned up
My necks too thick
For ill-fitted shirts
They make me look strange
And I’m clawing at it
like the demon in my head
The oppressor is here among us
With many ways to use a belt
Or haven’t you heard, lord
That we could’ve slept in
We could’ve enjoyed
Coulda just been ourselves
All those Sunday mornings


Nic Laurie Orland Koller (they/them) is a visual artist, composer, poet and filmmaker whose work spans painting, experimental film, spoken-word albums, animation and multimedia installations. Nic also cartoons about art and technology for The New Yorker, and their first VR film, “Flowers & a Switchblade,” premiered at Sundance in January 2020. Nic was raised in Texas and currently works and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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