Old Man You Won't Live

from by Matt Kresling

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lyrics

Here is a man, to begin:
his malevolent eyes and his wax figure skin
sliding off of his skull as it tips off its holder.
Jaundiced without and within,
trunk bent at the waist from the weight
of the chips on his shoulder.

Everybody’s debating his legacy
but it’s too soon to assess the wreckage
amid the wreckage;
and it’s too soon for forgiveness.

Old man, you won’t live long enough to
see all the damage you did.
Old men never live long enough to
see all the damage they do.

Contemptuous and pitiless,
inflexible and bigoted, obstructionist
and bitter and blind.
Still you have to feel sorry for them:
they can hardly still manage to kick us
and pull up the ladder behind them.

And if you still believe that wisdom
is the function of age,
here is the proof it is not:
your school board, supervisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Honor your elders for what?
The fools in the Senate, Court, city council, and the
head spot at your dinner table—for what?
For what? For what?

Who’d give a man whose ideals were fixed in 1970
authority over us in 2010?
Who’m I kidding?
That’s all we’ve got.
Old men who won’t live long enough to
see all the damage they did.

But now, it can’t be long now…
but oh, how long has it been
since our first predictions of how
it can’t be much longer?
I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid
that the only consolation we have is:
old man you won’t live.
Old man you won’t live.

credits

from 2, released December 31, 2011
guitar & drums: jake krohn, bass: remco vander heide, backing vocal: nora loreto

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Matt Kresling Los Angeles, California

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