November 18, 2010 — On a fantastically oddball Thanksgiving-fueled evening at the Bowery Poetry Club, the next-to-last LDM NYC of 2010 started with founder Todd Zuniga — via Skypecast from London — introducing the night, and ended with poet Gary Barwin winning the literary crown after a game of "Pass the Hot & Diseased Turkey" against runner-up novelist Sara Marcus.
But before the turkey was tossed waywardly around, and before the audience had any idea this was a holiday event, the night kick-started with a verbal duel between Koren Zailckas (Fury, Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood) and Barwin (The Porcupinity of the Stars). Barwin read first after losing the heads-or-tales toss, and then astounded the crowd with his Sigmund Freud action-figure at Coney Island poem that left even the machos feeling like they had been molested by hilarity. Next, Miss Zailckas read from Fury, and wowed judges and spectators alike when she pulled out her sequin-sparkled pink-fur covered magic wand and hypnotized all with her talk of masturbation in unlikely places.
The mic was then passed to the extremely good-looking (and extremely gifted) cast of judges: most fab-funny Upright Citizen Leila Cohan-Miccio, author/cabaret hero Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy), and AAWW Exec Dir and poet Ken Chen (Juvenilia). The trio then deliberated. And even though the magic of Zailckas’ work (or wand) made the judges want to party with reading glasses, in the end they sided with Barwin’s “grim baby-sitter of coffee blob” lyricism and Freud/Coney imagery, making him the night’s first finalist.
After a brief intermission, Zuniga was caught with his pants down — walking back and forth on the screen, all were able to see that he was wearing the top half of his fancy tailored suit, while aiding the hosts in underpants-only down south. James J. Williams III and Mikey Barringer then introduced the following contenders.
Round two commenced with Moth SlamMaster Jim O’Grady recalling from his memory the story of Queen, her “black meat” sex life with Reggie, and her funeral procession at a Baptist church on Staten Island. He was followed by Marcus (Girls To The Front), whose self-help book based on the sexual relations of bunnies had the audience hanging onto her every word, while host Barringer threw wads of paper at her from the crowd to let her know her time was up.
Once again the judges were called upon, and even though O’Grady’s Tim Allen-looks and uncanny ability for empathy impressed them, Marcus’ ramblings of detachable collar productions in Troy, NY and fantasies of bunnies exchanging email information won the prize, making her the night’s second finalist.
Host Williams III then announced that in the spirit of the holiday season the two LDM contenders would have to play a game of Pass the Hot & Diseased Turkey to determine who would be the night’s literary champ. Members from the crowd were chosen and two teams of four were formed. The object of the game was explained: pass around the hot and diseased turkey while music is played; the contestant holding the turkey when the music stops is out. The team with a member still standing in the end wins. (In short, a more intellectual version of hot potato.) "Barwin’s Pilgrims" started strong, taking out two members of "Marcus' Murphys" in the first rounds. The Murphys scored once, but The Pilgrims stayed strong, wiping out the remaining Murphy team with relentless aggression, thereby crowning Master poet Barwin the winner of the night’s LDM and immortalizing him as a literary superstar for all eternity.