There it hung (hanged?) against the wall,
Telling the members, one and all
That my finances had fallen,
Slid down the wall ‘n
Crashed. The little notice talked its trash, a J’accuse!
“Posted: For Non-Payment of Dues.”
I wasn’t thrown out of the club for my debt,
So I wandered around, saw faces familiar and yet
They turned away—as if they didn’t know me.
Don’t take it personally—I don’t owe thee,
I thought. But my credit at the club, I’ve slightly abused
And now I’m posted—for non-payment of dues.
I only have one wife, and an intern on the side;
Three cars in the garage, but I’ve nothing to hide.
The bank’s lawyer sent me a letter last week;
Haven’t opened it yet—I’m afraid to take a peek.
That money I borrowed—wasn’t it mine to lose?
Perhaps not; I’m posted for non-payment of dues.
You see, I merely thought it wise
To cut back a bit, economize.
I’m paying the minimum on my credit cards,
You’ll have to wait too, don’t take it so hard.
Maybe I’ll have a drink, sit here and muse
On the meaning of it all, since I can’t pay my dues.
“A Glenlivet and water,” I called to the barkeep.
“You can put it on my tab, it’s as high as a heap.”
The publican gave me a tres shirty look,
Glanced down at the records he kept in a book.
“I’m going to need, cash,” was his withering news.
Word’s got around that I ain’t paid my dues.
“I’m a little short this week,” I said–he didn’t seem thrilled.
I would have been dead, if looks could have killed,
Like the one from the bottle blonde across the room;
I knew her as a bride–I pitied the groom.
“Say—how ‘bout I offer you something in trade?”
I said, “instead of this vulgar business of you getting paid?”
Up went his eyebrow towards his hairline—
He knew I was broke as a Chapter 11 airline.
“And what sort of . . . thing were you thinking of giving,
Now that you’ve failed at making a living?”
My Adam’s apple bumped its way down my throat,
The other patrons had started to gloat.
They watched me squirm, in my weal-and-woetry.
“I can offer,” I said, “some very bad poetry.”