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‘The Beast’

I may laugh and joke but I do not play,
So listen up to what I’m about to say —

I am a beast that’s been asleep,
Now it’s time to get to my feet

And show you what I’m all about,
You have these questions and these doubts

About who I am and what I do,
Well I guess it’s time to just show you

The skills that I have and skills I’ve learned,

Don’t play with me ’cause you’ll get burned.

I’ve been told and I’ve been thought
to take first place ’cause that’s the spot

That you wanna be and you wanna stay,

’Cause second place is too far away

From the pack and from the lead,
I’m shifting gears and gaining speed —

Get out your pens, pads and paper,
We’re going on a trip and I will take ya

To a place inside my mind,
I will be careful but won’t be kind —

There’s no such thing in competition,
The goal is to win and that’s my mission —

I used to write just for fun
But now I write to be number one,

The leader of my clique and my crew,

There really ain’t much that you can do

To stop this flow that I have inside,
Sorry you lost but at least you tried

To win the battle and take top score,

You won the battle but you lost the war —

Don’t take it personal or to the heart,

This war was lost from the very start —

So please don’t step on my turf
And take my word for what it’s worth —

I am a beast that can’t be beat,
Just keep your place right in your seat

And don’t you move, just sit right there,

’Cause none of your poems will ever compare

To what I say and what I write,

You shouldn’t have stepped into this fight —

’Cause it’s a fight that can’t be fought,
And you can not teach what can’t be taught —

It’s time to end this masterpiece,

You should never have provoked the beast.

— Aaron Anderson

(Aaron Anderson, who won the jail’s poetry slam for the second year in a row, read this poem, which is from last year’s competition, as an acceptance speech of sorts. The poem won him the nickname “Beast,” which the men chanted each time Anderson stepped up to the podium — Trish Crapo)

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