Commencement Address by Michael Channing

Commencement Address

by Michael Channing

i have no advice to give
no pearls of wisdom to disperse
it was blind luck that brought me here
and i don't know where i am
i'm just like you
crushed forward by the bulldozer of time
flailing against an unknown unseen adversary
assuming one of my punches would eventually
make contact and my foe would at least
declare me to be worthy

i wish i could tell you
what pitfalls to avoid
but i've chased so many rabbits down into trouble
opened the door on so many tigers

the world is yours they say
you can have it
it will beat you softly and lol you to death
stroke your ego then prick it flat
it will promise to listen and listen it will
just as it listens to any flat earther
or crimeless victim
willing to dish for a pinch of the pile
or a blinded grab at fortuneless fame

there will be many who call you a hack
a lazy untalented
wannabe warrior
savior of one
hungry for nothing
some of them will be right

the one truth i can pass on is
for you
life will be hard
yes there is a money river
there exists a crystal stair
but the chances of you gaining access
are exceedingly small
you will feel the boots of the upwardly mobile
and flinch when they thank god
for lifting them
try not to hate them
is the best i can offer
try not to hate them and don’t let it hurt
when they can’t do the same for you

the rest you'll have to gather
as you roll with the punches
till one day
when you're worn and bent from constantly ducking
and someone seeks your advice for survival
remember these true and difficult lessons
then feel free to tell them anything else

More Unsolicited Advice

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing

September 22, 2017