Tanner: ‘Marxism for shopworkers’ and ‘you know what I don’t get?’

Marxism for shopworkers

bloody value range! he says
as I scan his loaf of bread.
that’s the class system, that is!

ninety-nine pee, please, I tell him.

you like perpetrating the class system? he asks me. do yer?

no more than you do, I venture,
when you push around those who serve you.

I pay your wage! he cries in outrage,
dismissively flicks a coin at me
then stomps out of the shop,
squeezing the offending loaf in his fist—
you know, the one he raises in solidarity and support
for the underpaid proletariat?
yeah, that one.

anyway, he left his benefits book on the counter

and a bin is as good as lost property
as far as I’m concerned.


you know what I don’t get?

all these literary magazines
saying now,
only people of colour
can submit their work,
because they publish
too many whites.
I think that’s racist.

and before you all cancel me,
I don’t mean it’s racist
in a “oh, what about poor little old white me?” way,
no, I mean
it’s racist towards people of colour
because they’re saying:
white people write better.
they’re saying:
if a white submits his work, we’re bound to keep choosing their work
over the work of a non-Caucasian’s.
they’re saying:
whites write so much better, that the only way
we’ll ever publish more non-whites
is if whites step aside.

how is that not racist?

then again, what do I care.

most of them reject me anyway,
no matter how



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