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I Want Answers! (from Haley Rene Thompson)

I Want Answers! (from Haley Rene Thompson)

One thing I’m really into is dolphins. Dolphins are great because they’re smart and they’re friendly and they can sense the friggin’ natural magnetic field of the earth and use that shit as a GPS. Seriously. Look it up. It’s called “Magnetoreception.” See. Look at that. And you thought your host here was an idiot. Congratulations, genius.


Listen, you may not be able to put a dolphin on a game show, but you are absolutely able to put a couple of dolphins on the cover of an online literary journal and that’s exactly what Smoking Glue Gun did for their twelve issue/volume. And lemme tell you, it’s a whale of an issue that’s full of poems from people like Angela Veronica Wong and Kristina Marie Darling and other people that don’t have three names but are still worth millions of dollars in safe-ass tuna.

What piqued my sonars (can u), though, are these two lil guys from Haley Rene Thompson, because they’re little and condensed and oopmhful which is great because I’m supersupersuper long-winded. I especially like the first one because I’m in awe of the way it pairs a faux platitude with illogical causation (whoa guy):

some say

the hand is the best
way to determine

the farm

an intimate

when I focus

my scrawl becomes
my mother

I dunno why that makes my face open, but hey.

Anyways, we’re two-for-two so far, so Haley–lemme ask you–what is the best way to determine the farm (and please do not feel inclined to be honest with me here)?

Mark Cugini

Mark Cugini is managing editor of Big Lucks, a strategist for Real Pants, and the author of I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE (Ink Press, 2014). Find him at

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About The Author

Mark Cugini

Mark Cugini is managing editor of Big Lucks, a strategist for Real Pants, and the author of I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE (Ink Press, 2014). Find him at

  • Certainly this is the smartest we’ve ever seen Cugini, what with the oceanzoocryptology and the logic.

    • Listen, I truly hate myself for it.

    • Except that dolphins aren’t always nice — they are too smart for that. They’ll just as soon drag a sailor to the bottom of the ocean and tuck him/her under a rock for fun — or save them. They’re moody little motherfuckers. But not half as scary as manatees.

  • Haley Thompson


    sorry, just got back from forcing obligatory ice-breakers upon a bunch of sleepy 18 year olds.

    I’m no farmer, but I’ve lived with/been in the vicinity of farmers for the past seven years, and it’s actually a very complex system of points: 10 points per crop, 20 if they’re organic, 30 points per Nubian goat, 10 points per child that lives on the farm, 40 extra if they’re home-schooled, 50 points if there’s a sheep named Clover, etc. etc..

    No, in all honesty (feeling inclined)…the dirt, I’d probably say the dirt. But you have to eat it, not smell it (that’s for determining tornadoes). You should be able to taste the labor and the varying degrees of light each plant needs, how many farmers are still half-drunk from the night before, the number of times a crop has failed for seemingly no reason, which jokes the cows find funny, the number of days it’s been since anyone’s seen rain, and who’s sleeping with who (plants & animals included). Everyone uses their dirty, scarred hands on a farm, it’s beautiful, but it’s just not how you determine the whole. This may be a redundant thing to say, but I feel like it’s important to remember how the “hand” is just a part of the chaos as much as anything else, that control is an illusion. Which is true of any system, is true of being person, of course, but, as I’m sure anyone who farms, gardens, has at least one house plant knows, that lack of control becomes stark and completely unavoidable, in a special way, when working with elements of nature, i.e. the ground.

    Hope that helps answer your question, and I agree, dolphins are unusually special creatures! Flattered to have ‘piqued your sonars’ (a creepier thing to quote than to say, ha).



    • This is sososososo good, Haley. As someone who’s only been able to scrape his knuckles against concrete, I appreciate the heck out of it. The next time I stumble across a chicken coop, I’m gonna dig right in & take a bite of it.

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