September 10, 2011 — In an epic duel of fill-in-the-blanks poetry, erudite Kevin Spenst conquered feisty Dina Del Bucchia, to become Vancouver’s second-ever Literary Death Match Champion! When asked how it felt to wear the crown, Spenst could only sob with pride.
Long before the victory tears, the night began in silence, as our laryngitic would-be hostess Alia Volz announced via cue card that the fabulous Sara Bynoe would rock the stage as “Pinch Emcee,” thus hurling the audience into the thrilling realm of What the Hell is Going to Happen Next? Bynoe rose to the challenge and was met with enthusiastic applause from the supercharged Saturday crowd.
Kevin Spenst hit the mic first, with an unforgettable, in-your-face, slam-dunk reading of Craigslist apartment rental ads, which he chased with an apropos poem about cranky neighbors. Next, Kaitlin Fontana struck a chord with a piece about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, then moved on to an essay about everyone’s favorite scatological cussword. The audience, folks, was in stitches.
Time for the all-star judges to weigh-in, including slam champ Chris Gilpin, playwright and genius blogger Darren Barefoot, and LDM Executive Producer, Alia Volz—voiceless, but armed with multicolored markers.
Gilpin found Spenst’s Craigslist poetry “refreshingly impersonal,” while Volz responded with a drawing of a cranky penguin berating his neighbors from his apartment window. Next, Gilpin praised Fontana’s “expletive fixation,” while Barefoot pronounced her the literary equivalent of Hockey Player Cliff Ronning. An undoubtedly tough decision, but the judges sent Kevin Spenst to the finals.
After a boozy break, round two commenced with novelist Kevin Chong, whose excerpt depicted a sexually-charged funeral scene. Then the lovely Dina Del Bucchia wowed the crowd with her unsexy sexual fantasies about celebrities one wouldn’t quite want to take to bed.
The judges bared their wisdom teeth, with Gilpin suggesting that Chong’s observation, “It’s better to have bad taste than no taste,” was truer than true, while Barefoot compared Chong to Jyrki Lumme, a Finnish hockey player. Voiceless Volz rendered a masterful portrait of Del Bucchia felating Bill Cosby. In the end, Dina Del Bucchia’s bizarre fantasy life won her a spot in the final round and a chance at the LDM crown.
'Twas time to get fierce. With the finalists seated at manual typewriters, Sara Bynoe led a guessing game to fill-in-the-blanks in book titles, while simultaneously creating weird poetry, and possibly discovering the famous last words of certain revolutionary hero. In the end, Del Buccia’s poem was funnier, but Spenst had hacked out an almost perfect fill-in-the-blanks score of 9, winning him a place in LDM—and indeed Canadian—history!