When poker goes beyond delusions of grandeur: Michael Murphy’s and Louisville Poker Tour make two of a kind

If I had told you five years ago that a game of cards would be getting better television ratings than a baseball game, you would have thrown me in a loony bin and tossed the key. And yet, the “sport” of Texas Hold ’Em poker is now a bona fide hit, drawing as much as a 1.9 rating during first-run telecasts on ESPN.

Fiction Honorable Mention 3

Forming BY KYLE MINOR             I don’t know what it is about the music. The energy, the attitude, the feeling that someone else is angry and upset about life. That I’m not the only person who is disillusioned and more than a little confused. Ever since I really discovered it — not just listened to it as background — it’s all I listen to it.            Katie’s into punk rock. The day I found out, I felt like someone else was in on my little secret. I remember thinking that this must be what it’s like for those jocks in gym class, who come back at the first of every school year amazed at how Becca Armstrong had grown breasts or how hot Amanda Rogers was now that she was bleaching her hair. Katie told me the first record she ever bought was the original Minor Threat, with Ian sitting on the steps with his head down and bald head staring straight at you. She started on a high note.            The first time I ever listened to punk I was eight years old. I was with my cousin, Mike. I think he just made me listen to it because he wasn’t supposed to. Won’t even remember who it was; I was still too young to hear anything but a bunch of noise. I never really started liking punk until about a year ago. I heard a Minutemen tape, Double Nickels on the Dime, and was blown away. They have a song on it called “Martin’s Story,” which I always misheard as “Marcus’ Story.” It also happens to be my name. I know the actual title now, but I still like to listen to it my way. The music goes by so fast that it isn’t all that hard to pretend.            After hearing the Minutemen, it was over. I was buying everything — old stuff, new releases, magazine articles, basically sorting out what was and wasn’t my style. I absorbed it all. I had never really felt like I belonged to anything before. My mom likes to say that it’s because I have a good sense of myself, that I won’t transform like some chameleon. But that’s bullshit. It’s more like I’m poor, shy, and overweight. I’m not fat by any means — a little less than husky — but it’s the combination that kills me.            Katie is about as popular as I am. It’s not that people hate us (I’m sure if one of us died in a car accident we’d warrant an announcement on the intercom and a moment of silence), it’s more like they just don’t care. Which sometimes is good for anonymity. For example, Katie showed up on the first day of high school and only got a few snide remarks. Most of them clever ones along the lines of, “Uh-oh, the weird girl just got weirder.”            I doubt I would have ever really met Katie if it wasn’t for her hair. Once I saw it, I decided I had to. It was beautiful. Her hair wasn’t that food coloring dull green that most people you see have, it was loud. She always had it down or in pigtails. I liked pigtails because they showed off her cheekbones and the little birthmark next to her left temple. She ended up being in three of my classes — Bio, Spanish, and Creative Foods. We started talking shortly thereafter. 


Bag Factory by sue carls              The seams were seemingly endless. Mae turned the bag, her foot pressing down on the pedal, the sewing machine running fast. The rough, cotton fabric used to make the bags caught on the chapped skin of her hands. The high pitched scream of sewing machines surrounded her, woven into her consciousness so she was unaware of the noise. It was the same with the heat and dust.

Putting yourself on the shelf: The modern phenomenon of self-publishing and on-demand printing

Sometimes it seems as if they fall from the sky, in every imaginable  shape and size and color and genre. Science fiction, crime thrillers,  country cookbooks, fantasy epics, romance, how-to and many a memoir  of dubious provenance.

What a Week

What a Week She’s ba-ack (emphasis on the “ack.”)Punxsutawney Dana Seum Stephenson, the constitutionally challenged half-Hoosier deemed too unKentuckian for the Kentucky Senate, climbed out of her hole, saw her shadow and announced her candidacy for the 38th District House seat, ensuring eight more months of political hilarity. Citing the Kentucky House’s lower standards, Stephenson expressed confidence that her candidacy is legal and, failing that, that everyone would finally just sigh heavily and give in. She joined a whopping 217 other candidates who wrapped themselves in the flag, wallowed in the Bible and announced their candidacies for the General Assembly.

Fiction Honorable Mention 4

 The Barn Cats  BY JOE PEACOCK 


Frozen Peas BY KIMBERLY A. POWERS             At seven Gary places the key in the backdoor lock and turns it. The jamb sticks; he kicks the door at the base. He’s home late again, but no one stirs at the backdoor’s shudder. Gary kicks the door shut behind him. From the kitchen, he can see the living room, the back of Jeanie’s head. She watches “Wheel of Fortune” from the couch and Tommy sits on the arms of the recliner.

Literary LEO 2006

Literary LEO, more than anything this newspaper does throughout the year, is by and for the community. This year we received hundreds of submissions, and as you can see by the judges’ comments on the following page, the work was strong, which made picking the best quite a challenge. These next several pages contain the three best short stories (the honorable mention short stories are posted at www.leoweekly.com); several flash fiction pieces (300-word limit); several poems (serious and seriously bad — so bad they’re funny); and numerous photographs (both traditional and non-traditional).

Rumblings From the World of Sports

 Colonels Redux.  Kentucky Colonels’ 1975 ABA champs were honored last year at the Derby Parade, and with induction into Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame. Now you can relive the victory as many times as you desire. Focal Point Productions has released a double DVD containing interviews plus the entirety of the Game 5 victory over the Indiana Pacers. Among the revelations: Artis Gilmore’s afro was significantly larger than the fabled coif of Darnell Hillman. “The Legend Retold” is available at ear X-tacy and Borders with a suggested price of $24.95.

Sen. Seum’s smokestack lightning

When it comes to improving Jefferson County’s air quality, state Sen. Dan Seum is public enemy No. 1. An inveterate opponent of government measures to regulate toxic emissions of everything from cars to factories, Seum’s most notorious strike was his bill that resulted in the closure of the VET program in October 2003. After all, $11 a year is an obscene price to pay to ensure your vehicle isn’t a rolling smokestack.