Open Letter to Ezra Beeman
Portland, OR 1997
I was losing her so I quit
smoking Camels in kitchens, drinking Stone,
answering phones in undecorated offices
leaving behind the pallets in the carpet warehouse,
the tight apartment share, the pool tables at the Silver Dollar
& gracelessly, a huge phone bill.
You introduced us to Thai food, & the X-Files
& drove me to the airport, blaring Cobain
who illustrated a pattern of Paradise
& then blew it to bits.
You said you love the absence of clarity in a singer,
how an open letter is read into
according to what you bring to it,
but most singers are no surface
the listener can write upon.
Down the highway, those notes of not fitting
or wanting to fit were enough for me,
fearing return to where everything needed repair,
I said goodbye & wandered into the airport,
on the other side of an ending,
too close to the feeling to see its size.
About the Author: Max Heinegg’s poems have appeared in Thrush, The Cortland Review, Nimrod, Columbia Poetry Review, and Tar River Poetry. He lives and teaches English in Medford, MA, and is also a singer-songwriter (whose records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com) and the co-founder and brewmaster of Medford Brewing Company.
Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “The old Oregon Leather Company neon sign in downtown Portland, Oregon” Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.