Posted for Non-Payment of Dues

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.”

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