July 24, 2008—LDM SF Ep. X at Amnesia was an erudite assault for the millennium, as Redroom.com’s Alan Black divided-to-conquer his way past Watchword Press’ Matt Rohrer. Black’s second-round literary sing-a-long was a genius stroke that he rode all the way to victory.
The night began with Watchword Press sending Matt Rohrer to the mic to square off against Missouri Review rep Lisa K. Buchanan. Rohrer uncorked a poem about California being on fire, while Buchanan unraveled a tale centered on sleep addiction. After the round, LDM All-Star Tony DuShane and first-time judge noted that he could see Rohrer’s underwear, while Buchanan didn’t show enough skin. Advantage, and final-boundism: Rohrer.
A mini-Snickers rainstorm ensued during intermission as the jam-packed onlookers crowded the bar, starved for what would be an epic second half.
Hosts Sean Finney (Canteen Magazine) and Sky Hornig (LDM West Coast Curator) welcomed one-time champ Instant City’s Evan Rehill who smartly carried a briefcase (for no reason?) and read love stories-but-not. Then came the Scottish buzzsaw, Alan Black, who read brilliantly spoofed nursery rhymes, thrilling the crowd with an Old McDonald sing along. After, Litquake’s executive director Elise Proulx noted that Rehill’s hair had great volume with no apparent gel use, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges. Alan Black’s ee i ee i o (which is a strange set of letters to type) went on to the finals.
The final clash pit Rohrer v. Black in a mathematical cage match, each challenged to divide a twelve digit number by 7 created by different judges. Black was lightning as he tackled 111,111,111,111 by 7, and judge/resident match-checker Damion Searls (a PEN translation grant recipient) confirmed Black’s victory, the result: 15,873,015,873. Duh.
After a crowning and medal ceremony, Black officially made LDM history: the first winner ever born on foreign soil.