The Inkwell

I'm Joshua. I'm not human. I'd rather not be called black. You don't even have to assign me a gender. I'm a writer. Nothing more, nothing less.

One day everything will die...but words are eternal.

Good drinks and eats at Bar Louie

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Bar Louie is a liberal bar known for its wide array of cocktails, wines and beer. The restaurant is located in the Peninsula Towne Center in Hampton, Va., between Chipotle Mexican Grill and Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille. In addition to saporous drinks, they also offer small plates, sandwiches and pizza. 

Bar Louie can be an excellent gathering spot for mid 20-something yuppies during happy hour. As a college student, I found their drink menu to be a little expensive for the collegiate budget. Average margaritas run $6-8 along with small plates from $7-10.

"They have great finger food to go with drinks," said Brooklyn Sanders, a regular customer. "I love the Mongoose Daiquiri and Adobo Shrimp Skewers, which is my favorite meal to unwind with. I meet up with my colleagues two or three times a week to relax."

However, you must try the Pomegranate Margarita! This  deep red mixture blends Cazadores Reposado tequila, pomegranate syrup, sour and fresh lime into a sweet salivating concoction served in a crystal-clear glass. Bar Louie could be the perfect spot for recent graduates with a little more disposable income. 

The restaurant’s dining room is dimly lit and decorated with vintage artwork and photography. The raucous atmosphere keeps customers and servers lively, with conversation floating from table to table. If you’re looking for a hip, urban and adult hangout, try Bar Louie. You won’t be disappointed! 

looking from the clouds: So....what do you think?

drlevi:

The Prison thar Liberates

Drops of rain fall to the street, crashing into itself. A symphony rises from the earth as the clouds blot out Father Sun. I watched. The thick glass of the windowpane locks the earth given to me out of reach. Thunder rolls. The lightning shatters an old shady elm.

(Source: doctorlevi)

The Rose

the sweet breath of her
softly sat on my lashes
while i stroked her Soul.

looking from the clouds: So I happened to stumble upon Time Magazine’s “100 Greatest Novels of...

drlevi:

So I happened to stumble upon Time Magazine’s “100 Greatest Novels of the 20th Century” (it was published in 2005, why am I just now seeing this?). I’ve only read 7 of the 100 books listed; eight if you count partially reading Beloved by Toni Morrison (I’m really not a fan of that novel. I prefer…

you can read the list here.

http://entertainment.time.com/2005/10/16/all-time-100-novels/#all

(Source: doctorlevi)

   The city never sleeps, not even to mourn one of its one. To stop means to be vulnerable. The monster eats the vulnerable. No one wants to be food. So they went about their day. Reading the Times, drinking coffee, cursing, gambling, living all while she sat. She sat; arm pressed against the cool wall, eye lids low.  Downtrodden. Angry. Sad. Hurt. 
"Geraldine, hooooney, you betta’ get up from there lookin’ all sad!" Alberta strutted up to her. "Ain’t nothin’ gonna bring that him back, honey. Let it go! C’mon." 
Geraldine’s eyes rolled up towards Alberta, her mouth opened, but her voice failed. 
"Well, you can sit here lookin’ all bad if you want! It’s Harlem, girl. There’s plenty more men." With that Alberta disappeared with the crowd.
Hours passed when Walter, the mailman, walked by, whistling a tune.
"Miss Gerry!" He stood over her. "Aw, Miss Gerry, I heard what happened to Smith. I’m sho’ prayin’ for him, me and Lizzie. You’ll make it on through."
"Will I?" She croaked.
"You will, Miss, you will." He patted her shoulder before resuming his route.
Horns of cars honked around her, as a group of young boys dashed across the street.
"Miss Gerry," the tallest spoke, "we want you to know, we watchin’ the block for the King. Ain’t nobody gone take this while we here." The other boys nodded in agreement.
"Thank you, he would be proud, boys."
"You da Queen, Miss Gerry, don’t worry ‘bout nuffin’." The fat one said.
"Thank you, Piggy. You boys run along."
Upper 16th Street Pentacostal Church of God of the Heavens and Earth stood silently across the street from her. From her castle, the three story brownstone. Prophet Shadrach Paul stared at her. Dressed in a floor length white robe, sleeves embroidered in gold, a gold Bible clasped in his hands.
"Miss Geraldine, or Queen as the neighborhood calls you, how are you holding up?" Prophet asked.
"I’m fine," she sucked her teeth with disgust.
"It ain’t no use in bein’ mad, that boyfriends of yours broke the law, sweetheart."
She glared at him, “I bet you happy he in the pen.”
"Might as well go inside."
"I promised to wait right here ‘til the King returns. He’ll return."
"There’s only one King, in Heaven above," He pointed to the sky.
"That’s what they teach you at that fancy Bible school, huh?" Geraldine spat. "My man is the King of these parts, Prophet. And I will sit here ‘til he returns to the throne. Now get on."
The prophet sighed and left. Leaving Queen Geraldine sitting on her throne.

   The city never sleeps, not even to mourn one of its one. To stop means to be vulnerable. The monster eats the vulnerable. No one wants to be food. So they went about their day. Reading the Times, drinking coffee, cursing, gambling, living all while she sat. She sat; arm pressed against the cool wall, eye lids low.  Downtrodden. Angry. Sad. Hurt. 

"Geraldine, hooooney, you betta’ get up from there lookin’ all sad!" Alberta strutted up to her. "Ain’t nothin’ gonna bring that him back, honey. Let it go! C’mon." 

Geraldine’s eyes rolled up towards Alberta, her mouth opened, but her voice failed. 

"Well, you can sit here lookin’ all bad if you want! It’s Harlem, girl. There’s plenty more men." With that Alberta disappeared with the crowd.

Hours passed when Walter, the mailman, walked by, whistling a tune.

"Miss Gerry!" He stood over her. "Aw, Miss Gerry, I heard what happened to Smith. I’m sho’ prayin’ for him, me and Lizzie. You’ll make it on through."

"Will I?" She croaked.

"You will, Miss, you will." He patted her shoulder before resuming his route.

Horns of cars honked around her, as a group of young boys dashed across the street.

"Miss Gerry," the tallest spoke, "we want you to know, we watchin’ the block for the King. Ain’t nobody gone take this while we here." The other boys nodded in agreement.

"Thank you, he would be proud, boys."

"You da Queen, Miss Gerry, don’t worry ‘bout nuffin’." The fat one said.

"Thank you, Piggy. You boys run along."

Upper 16th Street Pentacostal Church of God of the Heavens and Earth stood silently across the street from her. From her castle, the three story brownstone. Prophet Shadrach Paul stared at her. Dressed in a floor length white robe, sleeves embroidered in gold, a gold Bible clasped in his hands.

"Miss Geraldine, or Queen as the neighborhood calls you, how are you holding up?" Prophet asked.

"I’m fine," she sucked her teeth with disgust.

"It ain’t no use in bein’ mad, that boyfriends of yours broke the law, sweetheart."

She glared at him, “I bet you happy he in the pen.”

"Might as well go inside."

"I promised to wait right here ‘til the King returns. He’ll return."

"There’s only one King, in Heaven above," He pointed to the sky.

"That’s what they teach you at that fancy Bible school, huh?" Geraldine spat. "My man is the King of these parts, Prophet. And I will sit here ‘til he returns to the throne. Now get on."

The prophet sighed and left. Leaving Queen Geraldine sitting on her throne.

(Source: piratetreasure, via atribecalledgoodbreed)

For Selah

   Hazy purple-gray smoke rose from the pile of violets and begonias, smoldering in a low fire. Selah poked at the pyre with a cane; the same cane she snuck from her father’s library. It stood a yard long, African animals and tribal shapes carved into it’s body. It was her favorite toy. Tied around her neck like a cape, her ink bathrobe swayed with the breeze.

“Selah!” Her breath got caught in her throat; daddy was near. “Selah Alexandra , answer me now!” The bushes ruffled as he stepped into the clearing, at the top of a hill behind their Savannah home. “Selah, what are you doing up here by yourself?” Frown lines creased his forehead, a vein throbbed between his eyes; a trait passed from his father. “Answer me now, young lady.”

“I-I-I was playing, daddy.” She cast her eyes to the earth.

“Are you burning something?” He looked at the pyre, astonished. “What do you call yourself doing?”

“Well, daddy, you know I wrote a story-like you do-about a witch and I was acting it out.” She played with her hands. “Sort’ve how you write plays, then get people to act it out!”

“Not the same thing. You have my cane, too? What did I tell you about playing with it? It’s not a toy. Do you know where I got that?”

“From a merchant in Angola, you promised to take me there one day.”

“And I will.” He kneeled in front of her, staring into her face; the shade of slightly over baked sugar cookies. “When I can trust that you won’t get into mischief. You can’t play with fire, baby. How did you light this?”

“With your giraffe lighter.” She pulled it from her pocket and handed it to him. “How does a four year old learn to use a lighter?”

“I watched you,” she couldn’t hide her smile.

“Your mom already thinks I give you too much freedom, princess,” he looked her in the eye. “Burning flowers in the woods doesn’t help your case. Do you want to move back to Charlotte and be cooped in the house, playing cello all day?”

“No, sir,” she shook her head wildly.

“Secondly, you cannot play in the fields with no one watching you. Understand?” She nodded. “Good, let’s put this out and get some ice cream.”

“I love you, daddy.”

“I love you, too.” She kissed his cheek, and then ran back to the house.

 Limply holding a bottle of Heineken, Patra smiled to the Detective Anthony Davis. Tapping the metal bars with her canary nails she cooed, “Detective….Detective!”
“What now, miss?” Andrew swiveled around in his chair, looking away from his paperwork.
“What an attitude you have,” Nefe sassed between sips of whiskey. 
“I would appreciate it if you two kept quiet. I have work to finish.” He turned.
“Does it make you feel strong,” Nefe teased, “keeping two pretty lil thangs like us locked away?”
“I bet it does!” Patra giggled. “The big man caught two women, held them for ransom!”
Andrew shook his head. “Ransom?” He smirked. “You have to be worth somethin’ in order to be held for ransom.”
“How insulting!” Nefe took another shot. “You don’t know the treasure that you hold in this cell!”
“There will be a price on your head, if we are not returned.”
“A pimp will kill me?” Andrew cackled. “I didn’t know that you two were his best prostitutes.”
“We are queens, idiot.”
“Rulers of the night.”
“Connoisseurs of dark.”
“Prostitutes.” Andrew stood. “I am on my way out for the night, ladies.” He tossed his jacket over his shoulders. “You all go before Judge Antony in the morning. Make sure you get your beauty rest.”
“Oh, Andrew!” Patra tossed her bottle to the floor. “We would hate to tell the courts how well we know your family.” She smirked. “Wouldn’t we, Nefe?”
“We really would…isn’t your father running for mayor?”
“You don’t know my family.”
“Is that a chance you’re willing to take?” Patra sat regally, crossing her legs. Andrew stood, frozen. Hundreds of thoughts rushing through his mind at once. Andrew Sr. wanted that office bad. His expression sullen, he turned to the cell.
Reaching for his keys he said, “Don’t let me catch you all again, I won’t be as generous.” The door clinked open.
“We are grateful for your generosity,” Nefe laughed. 
“We queens never forget a favor.”

 Limply holding a bottle of Heineken, Patra smiled to the Detective Anthony Davis. Tapping the metal bars with her canary nails she cooed, “Detective….Detective!”

“What now, miss?” Andrew swiveled around in his chair, looking away from his paperwork.

“What an attitude you have,” Nefe sassed between sips of whiskey. 

“I would appreciate it if you two kept quiet. I have work to finish.” He turned.

“Does it make you feel strong,” Nefe teased, “keeping two pretty lil thangs like us locked away?”

“I bet it does!” Patra giggled. “The big man caught two women, held them for ransom!”

Andrew shook his head. “Ransom?” He smirked. “You have to be worth somethin’ in order to be held for ransom.”

“How insulting!” Nefe took another shot. “You don’t know the treasure that you hold in this cell!”

“There will be a price on your head, if we are not returned.”

“A pimp will kill me?” Andrew cackled. “I didn’t know that you two were his best prostitutes.”

“We are queens, idiot.”

“Rulers of the night.”

“Connoisseurs of dark.”

“Prostitutes.” Andrew stood. “I am on my way out for the night, ladies.” He tossed his jacket over his shoulders. “You all go before Judge Antony in the morning. Make sure you get your beauty rest.”

“Oh, Andrew!” Patra tossed her bottle to the floor. “We would hate to tell the courts how well we know your family.” She smirked. “Wouldn’t we, Nefe?”

“We really would…isn’t your father running for mayor?”

“You don’t know my family.”

“Is that a chance you’re willing to take?” Patra sat regally, crossing her legs. Andrew stood, frozen. Hundreds of thoughts rushing through his mind at once. Andrew Sr. wanted that office bad. His expression sullen, he turned to the cell.

Reaching for his keys he said, “Don’t let me catch you all again, I won’t be as generous.” The door clinked open.

“We are grateful for your generosity,” Nefe laughed. 

“We queens never forget a favor.”

  Bliss Anne, the pastor’s daughter, stood alone on the Red Creek Bridge. Staring into the murky water, letting her tears drop to the surface; pushing perfect ripples to the edge. Despair tore her chest in two, wracking sobs spilled into the air. Her breath uneven; stray curls falling into her face. She looked down, at the letter she clutched to her bosom. 
 "My beautiful Bliss Anne,
             I carried your love with me on the battlefield. I thought of your smile when    the Nazis rained fire on our heads. I remembered you when I flew overhead in the skies. I dreamed on you in the barracks. No words will ever allow me to tell you how deep my love is. It runs through my very veins. It’s in every breath I take. 
  My heart aches knowing my fate if you ever have to read this letter. I asked Benjamin to send it home if the worse happens.
  Do not weep for me, Bliss. I died as man. I showed these white folks what a Negro can do, baby! I showed ‘em!
  I promised I’d never leave your side, and I am a man of my word. If you ever feel kinda down go to the bridge, baby. Sit on the bridge. I will be there. I am in every whistle of the wind, every rustle of the grass, every song in the birds. I will always be there.
                          With all of my love,
                                       Claude Alexander Smith
                                        United States Air Force
                                         332nd Fighter Group”
  A cardinal landed beside her; pecking mindlessly at the wood. He looked at her, cocking his head to the side. Bliss smiled. Just as quickly as he came, he flew away. Her Claude flew away.

  Bliss Anne, the pastor’s daughter, stood alone on the Red Creek Bridge. Staring into the murky water, letting her tears drop to the surface; pushing perfect ripples to the edge. Despair tore her chest in two, wracking sobs spilled into the air. Her breath uneven; stray curls falling into her face. She looked down, at the letter she clutched to her bosom. 

 "My beautiful Bliss Anne,

             I carried your love with me on the battlefield. I thought of your smile when    the Nazis rained fire on our heads. I remembered you when I flew overhead in the skies. I dreamed on you in the barracks. No words will ever allow me to tell you how deep my love is. It runs through my very veins. It’s in every breath I take. 

  My heart aches knowing my fate if you ever have to read this letter. I asked Benjamin to send it home if the worse happens.

  Do not weep for me, Bliss. I died as man. I showed these white folks what a Negro can do, baby! I showed ‘em!

  I promised I’d never leave your side, and I am a man of my word. If you ever feel kinda down go to the bridge, baby. Sit on the bridge. I will be there. I am in every whistle of the wind, every rustle of the grass, every song in the birds. I will always be there.

                          With all of my love,

                                       Claude Alexander Smith

                                        United States Air Force

                                         332nd Fighter Group”


  A cardinal landed beside her; pecking mindlessly at the wood. He looked at her, cocking his head to the side. Bliss smiled. Just as quickly as he came, he flew away. Her Claude flew away.

(via doctorlevi)

The Wild One

Swaying with the rhythm of the crowded metro she sits. Invisible to all; silently catching the tears at her eyelashes’ edge.   

             She watches four rowdy college boys. High off the sense of their own masculinity. Skin like deeps caverns of mahogany and purple. Their eyes wild, their testosterone fuming, with voices that hit her soul. 

            She used to be them. Riding the new metro trains in the early morning hours. Her dress short, barely touching her knees; face framed I’m short Shirley Temple curls. Rey called her Jezebel, the lady of power; spokes model for all women wild. All women who dreamed, and dared, to step from the barrier of her sex. 

            In those days, U Street was for the hip. Blues and jazz breaking loose from illuminated basement juke joints. She sang, trained in the church but praising in the streets. Church had always stifled her. The oppressive rules and protective gaze of the Bishop-her father. Bishop Ezekiel Joseph Washington, the second. Twice removed from slavery, third bishop on the family. His wife, her mother, a simple wholesome gal. One that rather pray than fight, wash the dingy white man’s draws, instead of stepping out of line. Adeola Lee Simpson, although she was known as Fannie since childhood after her great-great grandmother, she had once been called. She gave Ezekiel eleven kids and sixty years of her life before she was put away sweetly in the church cemetery, overlooking the city of Gray Court in Laurens, South Carolina. 

            The second of four girls, Henrietta Mae was the black sheep from birth. Spankings for back sassing was commonplace, gradually getting worse until the morning she was beat within an inch of her life; after staying out the entire night with that no good Bobby Frank, whose family let him run wild with any old woman. She took that beating kindly, that night was worth it. She danced in the juke joint, off Old Town Road, deep off in the woods. The twins, Sam and Aaron Rodgers, built it from the ground up by hand.

            King Rob and his Sho-Nuff Band came all the way down from Baltimore to play. Henrietta had smuggled his sheet music in the house, hidden beneath her floorboards under the bed. Whenever her parents went to town, she would tune the living radio in and dance. She committed all their songs to memory, even teaching herself the chords on the old piano- which was only to be used for God’s music.

            Bobby danced the might way with her, ending the evening in his Pa’s 1935 Ford pickup; siting on the edge of the road. She sang to the heavens when he crawled on top, her blue dress bunched around her waist. 

            The day after the class of 1941 graduation from Laurens Colored High School, she ran away by night to the train station, and went to Washington, DC. It was the place to be for Negroes, especially those that didn’t care for the approval of whites. 



"Howdy-doo, Miss?" a sly faced brother asked when she sat on the train.



"Howdy-doo, sir," Henrietta tossed her bushy hair behind her shoulders.



"Might I ask what a pretty lady like you name is?" 



"Henrietta Washington, but call me Hennie, fella." He tipped his hat and say beside her. 



"I’m Caleb Calahan. The one and only, baby." he wore a gray day suit with navy suspenders. Thick concolene held his hair back, flashing on the sunrise’s light. "Where is your stop, Miss Hennie?"



"DC, where else, sugar?" 



"Hmmm, DC is the place to be, miss. You stick around with me and you’ll make, sure enough."



"Stick with you? Who says I need anyone for me to make it? I can make it just fine, daddy-o."

"Be cool, sweetness, I didn’t mean to press a nerve. A sweet pretty lady like you needs a strong man to look after her. The city’s a big place," he leaned closer, breath scented with peppermint, "and I couldn’t live with myself if you got lost."

She fanned herself, “Well I may possibly need a little company from time to time.”   

Panties

    My eyes shot open, inhaling the indigo lace panties, lying beside my face. I could hear her breathing. Slow. Steady. Smooth. The hours before were a haze. Founder’s day party in the campus gym, packed with thirsty girls winding their bodies; eyes begging to go home with us. She was one. Clad in a tight silver dress, she followed me as soon as I walked in. I knew I remembered her from somewhere…the session a few weeks ago! I took a picture of us; I knew I’d pop that girl eventually. I was right, last night was that night.

“Good morning,” rolling over I drag my fingers through her jet black hair and kissed her forehead. She stretched, straightening a leg to the sky. The sheet slipped from her breasts, I kissed one.

 “Good morning, baby!” Baby….bitch, I’m not your baby. Not even close.

 “You oughta make us something to eat.” The sunlight cut through the blinds across the room.

“Of course!” She jumps up, smiles as she skips across the room. Not bothering to dress. My phone buzzed.

 “What’s good, frat!” I answered.

 ”What good, deuce! You remember that Natalie girl from the party the other night?”

 “Hell yeah, that fat assed girl?”

 “Yeah that one. Her and that girl she was with tryna chief and chill. Get dressed and c’mon!”

 “Ahhhh, damn,” I sat up. Tossing the indigo lace in the air and catching it. “Natalie is still over here.”

 “Get rid of her, you already hit, right?”

 “True, give me fifteen.”

 “Bet.” Hmmm, make that twenty. Bitch is making pancakes.