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SF, Ep. 23

November 13, 2009 — San Francisco’s Literary Death Match headed back to the Elbo Room for Ep. 23, where D.W. Lichtenberg (The Ancient Book Of Hip) emerged as the night’s champion over co-finalist Charlie Haas (The Enthusiast) after a violently high-stakes game of musical chairs. 

First round readers Haas and Shanthi Sekaran (The Prayer Room) fought a good fight, pitting Haas’ story of “two different enthusiast universes crashing into each other inside of Henry’s Toyota Echo” against Sekaran’s moral exploration of dog misuse in space, filled with images of dogs knocking their “plastic bubble helmets against the spaceship window.” Intangibles judge, Porchlight's Arline Klatt, loved Haas’s “BYOSnacks” and Sekaran’s floating kibble imagery, while literary merit judge and Opium and LDM founder Todd Zuniga found a way to share his love for the word "dick" during both his judgments. After a difficult vote, the judges declared Haas the winner.

Round 2 kicked off with Lichtenberg pacing the stage and chewing Juicy Fruit gum as he told the story of Jason, whose freelancing-is-just-another-word-for-unemployment led to sex, cigarettes, and a corner store kleptomania stint. Challenger Seth Harwood (Jack Wakes Up) started his reading by playing his theme music, then read an excerpt from his book about a celebrity-turned-druggie-turned-straight making one last score. Performance judge and cartoonist Michael Capozzola gave props on Harwood’s height (about 9 feet) and his ability to break the fourth wall, while commending Lichtenberg for both “having the balls to turn [his] back on the crowd” and "trusting his pants." Lichtenberg took the round, and moved on to the finale against Haas.

Host Sky Hornig announced the musical chairs finale, in which Haas and Lichtenberg each were paired with two hand-selected volunteers, to form three-person teams. Haas got the first point, but Lichtenberg came back strong, scoring three rounds straight to take the gold, and become the 23rd-ever LDM SF Champion.  


LDM and Opium Sponsors

All proceeds from this event supported the publication of Opium9: The Mania Issue.

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