Issue January 23, 2012

Literary LEO 2012

Once upon a time, in a river city brimming with creativity, an eccentric alternative newspaper called on its readers to put pen to paper (and fingertips to keyboard) in pursuit of publication. The response was overwhelming, and so began the tradition of Literary LEO, one of our most well-read and beloved issues of the year. … Continued

Inbox — Jan. 25, 2012

Eliminating Threats It is interesting that death penalty opponents think the primary reason for supporting it is what Thomas Clay Jr., in his Jan. 11 letter to LEO, called a “lust for revenge.” This letter appeared in the same LEO that featured a long article on the horrors of child abuse. One of those horrors … Continued

Crit, Democratic women emerge

At a Saturday evening party of the party faithful, lawmakers, labor, lobbyists and a few retired journalists converged on the Henry Clay to praise Democrat Crit Luallen and to bury the shards of the glass ceiling she helped shatter. The event was a benefit for Emerge Kentucky, “the premier training program for Democratic women,” according … Continued

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Donnell Rawlings

You know him as Ashy Larry from Chappelle’s Show. You know he’s “rich, bitch!” But Donnell Rawlings is also a brash, in-your-face comedian on the live circuit. He will bring his free-form brand of conversational humor to The Improv this weekend, from Thursday until Sunday LEO: Where did you start doing stand-up? Donnell Rawlings: I … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

How to Feed a Fish BY ISABELLE WATTENBERG Find a respectable pet store. Do not agree to take care of your friend’s fish while she’s vacationing in Sydney and realize three years later that you still have it. Before getting the fish, get the tank or bowl, and set it up with rocks and aquatic … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Don’t Imagine That If You Wait Long Enough, Something Will Happen BY JEAN TUCKER After one a.m. on the Virgin channel two brunettes in luscious undulation, nearly identical except that one wears a black, the other a leopard-print thong. They remove each other’s bras like gardeners freeing prize dahlias from the bindweed. The breasts of … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Grandma’s Fridge BY JENNIFER WAGLEY My grandmother wasn’t big on refrigeration. She believed you should wait and let food cool before putting it back in the icebox. Preferably until the next day. And the refrigerate-after-opening warnings on labels? They were part of a conspiracy cooked up by power companies — who were in cahoots with … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Photograph of Rucker Kelly Sitting on the Front Porch BY ROBERT PENICK That’s my life, too: Trying to look presentable after toiling in a factory of stink. Looking hopeful in my mid-forties. We both tried hard, you and I, at the wheel, the plow, the packing house and house of correction. And we worked like … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Coffee Shop Full of People Backlit Against the Whitewashed Day BY JEAN TUCKER Someone loves the broad-backed woman in black cardigan, red turtleneck and little bowler hat with a turned-up rim. Someone loves the way her strong jaws pooch out as she chews the crust of still-oven-warm bread. Loves her in the morning in her … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Preparations BY ROB JAMNER Mom and I lift the two chickens out from the sink, setting them on the cutting board. We peel the skin off (“Like pulling tights off a child,” Jane Brody said). I force the legs through, and have to rip the skin where it sticks to tendon. My hands, greasy and … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

On Learning How To Hold A Dog BY DANIEL BRENNAN My mother brought her back: a stillness in a towel which I cradled in my arms for hours. And I stroked the impressed absence of her collar made a study of her gnarled, calcified joints. I hoisted one of her eyelids so that we could … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

My Mother’s Nature BY DANIEL BRENNAN Had I not been her son I might have sighed at the way the moiré silk dress fell limp from her hips to taper and rustle about her fawnish white ankles. Through apertures of lacquered leaves I would watch her rollick through the garden sometimes preening or pruning, watering … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Conventional Murder BY CORY BYRD I entered the house through a crawlspace. Mr. Morton and his wife were home. You have to step quietly on the tiles in the basement kitchen, and likewise on the hardwood in the living room. Creaks in the floor in a house you have not yet walked through are as … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

A Long Day’s Night BY GAIL CHANDLER In dorm six of Kentucky State Prison, Andre Lacy lay on his single bunk staring at the ceiling. Twenty-four years, thirty-seven days, and a wakeup before he would meet the parole board. He’d be forty-three. That didn’t count the years remaining on his old sentence, the parole he … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Synchronicity BY ROB JAMNER They didn’t. They just didn’t. They had once, but that morning when the rising sun pressed shadows into the table, and she sat down with that same old dog-lovers mug — she was mildly allergic but they had three — and he sat down across the table, two seats to the … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

An Elegant Mess BY LAUREN LLOYD “My downstairs neighbor might be dead” She said the words nonchalantly, as if they had no meaning or consequence. I could hear her talking through the vent in my ceiling. There was no answer, no response to her surprising statement. However, I could hear her one-sided conversation as clearly … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Corner Door BY ERIN FITZGERALD Carmella had tried it every way she could think up. Sliced on a hoagie, with mayo and cheddar. Blanched in champagne, a poached egg on top. Deep fat fried, with a whiskey sidecar. Pounded and stuffed with cream cheese and morels. Shredded and sautéed, in cayenne and sherry. Pickled, tickled. … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Don’t You Dance? BY CONNOR PIERCE It was the start of June that I drove over to Annie’s house without telling her I was coming with blankets and pillows in the back seat with the intent of taking her to the drive-in in Millersville. For her part, she decided to come without telling me she … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Fear of Darkness BY LINDA SATTERLEE “He hit your car.” He didn’t answer, but continued to look up at the traffic light. The jolt hadn’t been severe, but enough to ensure a noticeable dent in the fender. Again, dull, definite, a second thud of metal contacting metal. “He hit your car again,” she said, bewildered. … Continued

Literary LEO 2012

Onimikì BY BRUCE PRIDDY Cancer has hollowed my grandpa out, the only part of him left are regrets. From his hospital bed, he looks at our gathered family and says things like, “I never was a very good human.” An uncle will rub his shoulder and say, “You raised us well. We never wanted for … Continued


 <THEATER> Jan. 26-Feb. 4 ‘dirty sexy derby play’ The Bard’s Town 1801 Bardstown Road • 876-0532 $15; 7:30 p.m. For a theater town obsessed with a certain annual horse race, it’s odd that there aren’t many plays written here about the Kentucky Derby. Thankfully, Brian Walker’s saucy “dirty sexy derby play” is back after … Continued

The shuffle showdown

In Gov. Steve Beshear’s inaugural address last month, he said voters sent a clear message in the November elections. They wanted leaders who would “build bridges,” “are motivated by the common good,” and who “reject the politics of division.” Any poor naïve folks who thought that such a bipartisan utopia was possible in Frankfort were … Continued

Plugged In

Readers are strongly encouraged to call ahead to verify these listings. To get your musical act or comedian listed, send e-mail to with PLUGGED IN in the subject line. The deadline is NOON THURSDAY the week before the show happens. We do not accept listings via social networking sites.   Wed jan 25 BBC, … Continued

Video TapeWorm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: DREAM HOUSE 2011; $17.98-$35.98; PG-13 Real-life husband and wife Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz would seem to have it all in this sneaky psychological/supernatural horror outing: a perfect marriage, a perfect family and now the perfect house. But we won’t spoil the movie’s twist in these pages (the studio did that … Continued

Ark over troubled waters

On Jan. 17, Gov. Steve Beshear presented his proposed two-year state budget, which includes “painful cuts” of up to 8.4 percent in many agencies in order to make up for a nearly $300 million shortfall. “It’s a budget that — to be candid — is inadequate for the future needs of our people,” Beshear said. … Continued

Me Vs. Music

All this and a drumstick, too Growing up black and “alternative” in Louisville was not easy, but it provided my sister Aisha and me much exposure to different kinds of people and music. From the choicest of pop-metal, like Spanky Lee, to just missing Green Day before they became superstars, we were always at a … Continued

Book: Boel: uncut, unforgiving and unfinished

‘On the News … In the News’  By John Boel. Butler Books; 189 pgs., $19.95. On the surface, John Boel’s autobiographical “On the News … In the News” is a gritty city of two tales: his slow rise as a local TV news star and sudden fall as an alcoholic, busted twice, fired and mired … Continued


Movin’ on up Singer/multi-instrumentalist Cheyenne Marie Mize celebrates the release of her new EP, We Don’t Need, Saturday at Headliners Music Hall, with Silver Tongues opening. She told us about signing with an established indie label and looking toward her next full-length album.  LEO: The EP’s release was delayed from last fall once you signed … Continued

Book: Where the wild things read

A boy in an airplane made of dough, a mischievous king of the wild things — these figures are familiar characters in childhood libraries around the world, sprung from the imagination of Maurice Sendak and into the hearts of millions. “Where the Wild Things Are” is an iconic work of children’s literature, winning the Caldecott … Continued

Amen Dunes’ psych-out

Brooklyn-based singer/song-summoner Damon MacMahon has been quietly crafting fractured folk-junk jams under the Amen Dunes moniker since 2009, with its entirely refreshing and enigmatic debut, DIA. Warranting comparisons to everyone from late-’60s outsider legends like Alexander “Skip” Spence and Michael Yonkers to the demented, primitive brilliance of Sun City Girls and early Royal Trux, Amen … Continued

Art: Hawkins examines religion outside the box

Good stories, lightning bugs, Pixar films — these are just a few of the things that inspire Georgia-based artist Craig Hawkins. Oh, and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Looking more like a scruffy hipster than an evangelical Christian, Hawkins is a deeply spiritual artist, often drawing inspiration from biblical texts and meditation … Continued

Bar Belle: How to save a life

I swear I’m not making this up. A recent study shows that people who don’t drink die sooner than people who do. I’ll do a toast to that! I’ve been trying to relay this message for years by conducting unofficial experiments I call “happy hour.” It’s true, Mom. Time magazine says so. According to the … Continued

Kathleen Edwards explores expanded horizons

Big changes have accompanied Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards’ career in the last couple of years. The first hint came last autumn with “Wapusk,” a lovely acoustic single with vocals and co-production from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. And now comes her fourth album, Voyageur, released last week. Both releases have a layered production similar in many … Continued

Locavore Lore: Addressing the ‘State of the Local Food Economy’

The Louisville Free Public Library’s viewing party of the “TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat” seminar hit all the talking points you’d expect from such an experience: Appeals to “vote with your fork” and laments on the fable of “free range” were set to the requisite backdrop of manure lagoon footage taken from factory … Continued

Industry Standard: Insider info for those who dine out

It’s so hard to be good. French fries are delicious. So is duck confit, and a fluffy croissant from your favorite bakery. Macaroni and cheese should be its own food group. Mashed potatoes? More, please. Pass the butter. Moderation is a popular go-to personal theme in the new year. I’ve sampled a few quotes about … Continued