October 26, 2010 — A brilliant LDM100: Twin Cities celebration ended with a down-to-the-wire "Poet vs. Madman" battle, that saw Maggie Ryan Sandford outduel co-finalist Curt Lund by a final score of 8.5 to 8, winning her the LDM crown.
But before the first poet?/madman? poster was shown, the l'etoile-sponsored night at Clubhouse Jager began with a first round battle for the ages, with renowned quizmaster Rob Callahan introducing Doomtree poet Dessa Darling, who led things off with a pair of poems from her collection Spiral Bound that had the audience in celebratory throes before Sandford stepped forth with her own pair of tales, with the second — about a dog being literally split after a break-up — winning the hearts of the lively audience.
Then mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges: haiku artiste (and LDM Twin Cities, Ep. 1 champion) Brian Beatty, journalist/brainiac Molly Priesmeyer, and do-it-all funny man Joseph Scrimshaw. Beatty's emphasis on noun/verb/petty jealousy had the onlookers in titters, with Priesmeyer following with humor-laden outfit-based barbs, and Scrimshaw finishing comments with haikus that cobbled together words from each reader's work:
Tripwire Rum Adult Car Wash
Opium F**k Shoes
Maggie Ryan Sandford:
Big Thing Candies Pink
Play With Her Glitter Polish
Can I have my drink?
After comments, the judges narrowly decided that it was Sandford that would be the night's first finalist.
A brief intermission followed, and after that an equally titillating Round 2, that pit rockstar storyteller Lund and must-read wordsmith Mark McGinty (The Cigar Maker) against one another. McGinty led off with a smart and humorous tale of Yahtzee! addiction, excellently followed by Lund's high school experience in the Wizard of Oz's Tin Man suit.
The judges were again leaned on, firing off gently pithy comments, with Scrimshaw reading this haiku about McGinty:
Lounge music Mars bar butts
I have no goals in life
And finished the judging with this haiku about Lund:
Hoist rigid clamping
Aging Male Auditioners
We talk with our hands!
After another difficult deliberation, the judges finally agreed to send Lund on to the finale, to face off against Sandford.
Then up stepped co-host/LDM creator Todd Zuniga, who introduced the Poet vs. Madman finale in which each finalist was shown eight pictures and asked to write down: "Poet" or "Madman" along with a guess of the poet-or-madman's name. Sandford jumped out to a quick 2-1 lead after seeing a shot of William Burroughs, Emily Dickinson had Lund flummoxed (he thought her a serial killer), while T.S. Eliot mystified both. But in the end, with the scored tied at 8 a piece, Sandford won the LDM championship — and literary immortality in the process — with guessing that Dexter's arm in the photo was not his own.