Ainsley Morse

I’m Tired, I Say


Illustration from Thomas Baldwin's Airopaidia, 1786

I’m tired, I say, I’m tired, let me go,
I can’t, I say, I’m tired, let me go, I'm tired,
he won’t let go, won’t listen, clamps me in his fists again,
lifts me up, laughs, but you haven’t flown yet,
he says, laughs, up over his head again
looses his fingers, tosses me up, fly,
but I’m, like, already flying, I say, spitting out grass,
like, I already flew, I say, I flew, let me go,
I’m tired, I say, let me go, I’m tired, but again
he lifts me above his head, but I’m tired,
tosses me, I’m tired, but he won't
get it, laughs, fly, he says, into the bushes,
but I’m tired, I flap with all my strength,
scratched up my whole mug, grabbing for the end bush,
fine, I say, but this is the last time, but he says, you psycho,
you were flying just now, fine, I say, whatever,
let’s do it again, no, he says, sorry,
I’m tired, let me go, laughs, I can't, I’m sick of you,
one more time, I say, I can't, he says, fly by yourself now,
the hell with you, I say, God, I’m so tired of this,
and I laugh, he looks at me, but I laugh, I can't,
fine, he says, come on, take a running start, and I run.

* * *

Vladimir Strochkov was born in 1946 and became active in Moscow’s unofficial literary scene in the 1970s. He has written about his work as aiming for the balance between the chaos of “meaningless beyonsense, language that has lost the gift of speech, and on the other hand banality and compilation, the speech of dead ownerless language.” “I’m Tired, I Say” was written in the early 1990s.

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