This poem was published in the latest Main Street Rag:
GENERAL REVENUE CORPORATION
I used to work for a collection agency
so I know: you invent a code name
and sit at a desk with a headset and dial
hundreds of telephone numbers each day
to try to find people and convince them
to pay old defaulted bills plus interest.
My technique was to lever on their
loved ones, religion, to come down hard
on morality, duty, guilt, etc. Anyway,
now it’s years later and some collector
who calls himself “Eric” has been looking
for me. He phoned my boss. I called him back.
“You found me, Eric,” I said, “you’ve
earned your seven bucks an hour.” “I
try,” he said. He was a laid back, good-cop
kind of guy, a pal, a technique I never
cared for. It was an old loan: eight grand.
“I’ll pay you 25 bucks a month,” I said.
“200 is as low as it goes,” he said. “Sure,
Eric,” I said, “I’ll give you 50 dollars
a month.” “150,” he said, “Now I’m already
breaking policy.” “85,” I said. “Let me
talk to my supervisor,” he said. “By the
way,” I said, “how’d you find me?” “I
Googled you,” he said, “I found out you
were a writer and a taxi driver in Tucson,
then I called all the taxi companies.”
“Pretty good,” I said. “Thank you,” he said.
“By the way,” I said, “I don’t make a penny
for the writings.” “Don’t worry,” he said,
“I believe you.” There was a small silence
before he put me on hold so he could
go talk to his stupid supervisor.