Interview with a Hot Air Balloonist

Hot Air Balloonist Magazine: Are you a hot air balloonist?

Hot Air Balloonist: Yes.

HABM: Why did you become a hot air balloonist?

HAB: Someone stole my bicycle.

HABM: Has anyone ever stolen your hot air balloon?

HAB: No.

HABM: What is the best part about the job?

HAB: Going up. The small flame. The thinning air.

HABM: What is the most challenging part about the job?

HAB: Getting down.

HABM: How do you manage to get down?

HAB: I find heavy things in the sky. On a clear day it can be difficult. The passengers are not much help. Once we get to the tree line it’s easier. Branches are heavy.

HABM: Do the passengers enjoy the ride?

HAB: They feel happy before we go up and after we come down. While we’re in the air they think about other things. One lady got upset when she had to throw her handbag and shoes over the side. They were weighing us down. Sometimes they try to take home a bit of cloud as a souvenir. They get frustrated when they can’t. They are generally unhappy people.

HABM: How long have you been a hot air balloonist?

HAB: A man tied thousands of helium balloons to a lawn chair and floated around his neighborhood. He hovered over his dog and waved at his dog.

HABM: Are you going up right now?

HAB: Yes.

HABM: Do you think hot air ballooning is still a viable form of travel?

HAB: It doesn’t...moment...giraffe knees...

HABM: I can’t hear you anymore. Can you hear me?


HABM: Do you have any words of advice for young aspiring hot air balloonists?



Notes from the Window

Is it unlikely? The turpentine has evaporated.
At closed doors I am dark
shadowing the unusual light of winter orange
glow absorbed and lulled:
trash cans, stadiums of light.
My clock set, I enhance numerically,
absorbed by orange; numerical because
no one tries to number me; not that I have nothing
that can be counted, I might have some new kind of code.
I might as well shout, “I have depth of feeling!”
Sewer moss bursts in light
and the slippery morning looks like this:



first: the day you were born and i dropped you in the water.

word: the day all of my hair fell onto the floor like a mass of paper clips clicking.

cold: the day the man in blue shorts swam across our living room. how did he get through the door, how did your laughter pour him like water.

and again: the day the plant died for revenge and thirst. we took to the salt mines. we dug and we dug and we came up with one red wagon, one piece of coal. one blueberry to put in the freezer and one chicken fillet to coddle and fit to a bonnet.

foretold: the day you came home and said, “i am not made for swimming through the neighborhood we need a raft.” we took our car and drove out onto the lake, a dark sparkle on the water. we bought you a new dress made of evening and topped with lampshade. we shielded our eyes from the glare.

fracture: the day you said “i need a chicken to cluck, a rope to jump. i need a wig to brush to cover my lighted head. you are too much for me, we can’t talk anymore.”

and lull: doing laundry doing laundry doing laundry. growing out my hair.

the dig: we will not always have the daylight. she has broken me into pieces and now i am leaning out the window to find them, and I am losing the lamp. I am belittling the yard which only grows in the dark.

the twins: you took out the trash for your birthday. a thousand pieces of glass danced a shining portrait. you are cinderella and i am the locked door.

age: “mama hit me with a prefix deliver me away.”

date unknown: the day i lost my vocabulary. a napoleon has taken over the country and there are bursts of light everywhere. i don’t know where my rainwater is. i have taken to the road. on both sides are rushing green, specks of light, the wheat fields and the traveling wells.

word: the day my hair came back in a sprout of glory and the water streamed at both ends.

pursuit: you now radiate like an onion peel lit from beneath. you were always grown into the dirt, a daphne running for the river, you have been sealed at the root.

death: “he showed up glistening. you are an ivory tower, give me your hair. i lowered a hot wire and a cat clawing. an electric bundle and a blue spark. this is how I cry out.”

date unknown: i opened all the letters. not one light bulb folded into any of them.


a day with the baron and his family by jorin bossen

jorin bossen made this at an art party a couple of years ago.

it has been on my refrigerator ever since then.

he probably doesn't remember making it.

he probably doesn't remember me.

jorin, i am shannon's friend. kathy.


1,000 recoveries

if i stopped eating it would be like you stopped drinking. if we ate and drank it would be like we rolled around in the mud. in the rain. let’s build a shelter. with pancakes for breakfast. when you go to the store it’s like i’ll visit your grave. at the petting zoo let’s make pies. say you’ll stop smoking. say i’ll stop lighting fires under the house. we need a system. if you stopped with your literacy it would be like i found a baby on the stoop. everyday i’ll stop. it is like this.