All posts tagged: Tom Sleigh

Podcast: Tom Sleigh on “Last Cigarette” and “Apology to My Daughter”

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Tom Sleigh speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his poems “Last Cigarette” and “Apology to My Daughter,” which appear in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Tom talks about his time as a journalist in Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, Iraq, and Libya, and how that experience comes out in his poetry. He also discusses the process of putting together his new poetry collection from Graywolf, The King’s Touch, and how he sees the current Ukrainian refugee crisis playing out differently than crises in other parts of the world with less established infrastructure.

Image of Tom Sleigh's headshot and the Issue 22 cover (light blue background and pink seashell).

Podcast: Tom Sleigh on “Last Cigarette” and “Apology to My Daughter”
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Apology to My Daughter

By TOM SLEIGH

“Life is not a walk across a field…”—Pasternak

For ten years, Hannah, the world convinced me
that thorn trees, desert, Land Rovers tricked out
with CB radios, machine guns and armor plate,

grew more real the harder it became
to fulfill my nightly promise to rebar and rubble
that some final vowel would reverse time

Apology to My Daughter
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Many Desires, Many Secrets

By TOM SLEIGH
1.
Many desires, many secrets—that’s what the book said.
And it brought me to attention, watching the interior
branches of the pine trees swaying in a paranoid
whisper that reminded me of you standing over
me, your hand in my hand, your mind
not right but your whispering rebelling against
that hissing shhhh of what I couldn’t understand—

Many Desires, Many Secrets
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Lions

By TOM SLEIGH
At Show and Tell, in front of the whole class,
the cubs’ jaws yawned wider than the boa constrictor’s
that bolted down the lethargic, pink-eyed mouse—

how they’d nuzzle and lean into our stroking…
But when genetics took over, their cells didn’t care
if they grew up in someone’s basement or were teething


Lions
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Eclipse

By TOM SLEIGH
for Tayeb Salih and Binyavanga Wainana


Heat lightning flicking between head and heart
and throat makes me hesitate: I could see
in the rear view one part of the story
while up ahead the crowd breaking into riot


Eclipse
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