Introduction, Blasphemy, and Youth Group

My name is Richard Braxton, and people always ask: do you go by Rich, Richey, or Dick. I tell them that I go by Richard, but I will answer to anything if I know that they are talking to me. I will even answer to “hey fuck face” if you say it politely. And I have been given many nicknames over the years like the obligatory “Big Rich,” “Big Man,” and “Big B” or their inverse like “Tiny.” When it meant something I was called Tony. But for one day, I went by “Mike.”


Being a young dick head, anytime I had to sign in for anything, I would sign my name as “Mike Hunt.” I was young enough to think that it was clever, but old enough to know that everyone had heard that one thousands of times before. But I had gone with a group of friends to their church youth group and the pastor expected us to sign in. Abought half an hour into the meeting, the pastor wanted to split us up into teams to play some sort of game, and by chance, he picked up the sign in sheet and began to assign teams by first name instead of just dividing the room in half.


I had been the last person to sign the sheet and I waited as people were called out by their first name until the pastor read out the name “Mike.” I sat back and watched my friends look around asking, “Who the hell is Mike?” And then it happened, the pastor repeated, “Mike, Mike Hunt.” I sat back quietly sinking into the leather armchair waiting for people to catch the joke then in exasperation the pastor said. “Where’s Mike Hunt?” And hilarity ensued. Eventually, someone realized that mine was the only name that was not called, and for the rest of the day my name was Mike.


Second 30 Minute Analytical Essay Writing Practice in Preparation for the Writing Portion of the GRE

This time I did a little better because I took notes on the article that I was critiquing, but I still did not complete an entire essay in the allotted time.

When explaining the findings of a scientific study one must take into account the particular circumstances of the test in order to assess the validity of the validity of the findings of the scientific finding. The letter’s argument comes from information gleaned from a limited study of eighteen rhesus monkeys. Therefore, the conclusions from such a limited study are automatically suspect. The information provided by this particular study would have to either be backed up by several other similar studies or to be a survey of a much larger population of rhesus monkeys in order to come to any believable conclusion from the information provided.


Additionally, the argument directly compares the findings of the study of the rhesus monkeys with the findings of a study on humans without providing any information about how likely it is that these findings could be related. While it is true that monkeys and humans have many things in common due to their close relation as mammals, they are not the same species. Therefore, one cane not just assume that a similar finding in both species will stim from the same cause. The rise in cortisol in the in the monkeys could very easily be caused by a different mechanism than the rise in cortisol in the human subjects.


Also, the tests between the monkeys and the humans come from differing stimuli and may not correlate for that reason as well. The monkeys are stimulated by the introduction of another monkey, and the humans are stimulated by the reintroduction of an absent parent. A parent who has been absent is already a known quantity and the human subjects are likely to react with joy when reunited. However, the monkeys are introduced to an unknown monkey, who could be interpreted as a rival, so the monkey is more likely to react with fear than the human subject. Therefore, more information would be needed to confirm that the two studies could be accurately compared.

30 Minute Analytical Essay Writing Practice in Preparation for the Writing Portion of the GRE

This was my first attempt and I did not quite complete an entire essay in the allotted time. I will have to practice several more times before I am confident about my ability to finish one of these.

Archeology, like any other science, needs many levels of evidence to come to any conclusion about the specifics of the civilizations being studied. But this particular article is missing some of the evidence needed to come to a proper conclusion. The writer of this paragraph takes leaps of logic to come to the conclusion that Palean baskets are not uniquely Palean. To prove his point that the baskets should be assumed to be Palean, the writer of this article would need to sight more evidence to prove his conclusion about the baskets.


To properly prove his or her conclusions, the author of the short article would need to cite evidence of when the Lithos baskets were dated to in comparison to the dating of the Palea baskets and some evidence that show that the peoples of Palea did not have access to boats or knowledge about rudimentary sailing. If the Lithos baskets were dated before the Palea baskets were found, more credence could be given to the idea that the baskets were not uniquely from Palea. However, if the Palean baskets were proven to be dated before the Lithos baskets, the author’s conclusions would not be completely ruled out.

How much is known about Palea



How this evidence would strengthen or weaken

December Poem 2: The Flattened Shadows

Life on a black Monday extended as

To kill all the light in the house. Shaking

Out the man’s hands and god’s to hold loose their

Gaze, I find myself balanced on this blind

Woman’s grip of existence. The black and

White echoes of where things might be. Confound

These frozen nights frosted with angry dogs

Barking at the flattened shadow of things

Hidden only in the deep dark rising

Fast from the drunken steam of your own breath.

December Poem 1: Who Cares for a White Christmas?

With each drop of snow, the bough would straighten

A little closer to its former height

In short increments like the stiff back of

An old peddler who had just let down his


Pack. And the sun reflected like shaved glass

Off the boughs heavy with snow that broke loose

In the field of white to unwrap more green

And to fall in clumps like comets followed


By a tail of drifting powder. The green

Struggling to hold to life in the frozen

Desert of white. Life more beautiful and

Mysterious, the evergreens had a


Natural giftwrap decorated to

Rival the pale imitation held so

Proudly decapitated in my home

Rooted in piles of consumer goods.

November Poem 12: Marina (Part 9)

That night, I didn’t drink. As bad as I

Wanted to. As bad as my life seemed at

The time. I just looked at the paint on the

Wall. And there next to the raised bead where the

Shipwright had welded together the two

Sheets of steel was a raised lump in the paint.

Pressing my finger against the lump, it

Deformed with a slight crunch. It was my fault.

I had been neglecting her ignoring

The rust near the waterline. The blotches

Dripping down like fat tears of blood. In the

Morning, I would address the problems with

A needle gun and a few coats of paint.

With love and hard work she would forgive me.


Marina (Part 8)

Marina (Part 7)

Marina (Part 6)

Marina (Part 5)

Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 11: Sunday in the Park

Black and white flocked on the green field honking

And scratching lazy through the grass. Mother

Sat by and watched (or didn’t) as she was

Posing for hundreds of pictures in her

Long dress and sun hat hoping for the one

Lucky one from that perfect angle that

Makes her look prettier and a hundred

Pounds lighter. Out in the field, her son, the

Angry fat kid tried his best to hit the

Geese as he lumbered toward the flock and heaved

The ball in an arcing directionless

Toss. Her fat kid with a football chased the

Flock into flight. Haphazard and frightened,

They were all getting some needed exercise.

November Poem 10: The Heckler’s Veto

I walked out on the stage and choked down the

Blood filled consciousness of style. The red

In the faces of the people in the

Crowd. The halos on their crown. The yelling

In unison to overpower the

P.A. But this language serves. And willing,

I forgot how I fought through the echo

Of these cracked bricks of wall to have my voice

Heard. My religious rhetoric couldn’t

Belie fart fetish inconsistencies

To discuss the blank painted Jew and the

Furniture decorations revolving

Completely around far chicken and the

Ways that these things disprove the narrative.

November Poem 9: The Creeping Vines of Verse

I needed to write for my daughter and

The blood on the porthole that was covered

In Neosporin. But that style of

Writing comes from the black volcanic beach

Sand in the decorated card that I

Always keep in my vest pocket on the

Days that I feel the need to dress well. But

When real men come down to real writing it

Is time to get some man style robot-

Suit sleep to calm the clink and chunk offered

By impulse sensibilities. Sure I

Could brainstorm a stand of trees that clicked pay

Now on the creeping vines of kudzu in

Autumn nights, but who has  time for all that?

November Poem 8: Marina (Part 5)

(Sorry, I wrote this one out of order. I hope you can handle the confusion.)


When I was on the street, Jimmy had been

The only one that still had anything

To do with me. He’d give me a few

Dollars in exchange for odd jobs that he

Could no longer do. The work gave me time

Away from the bottle to think things through,

But mostly, I came for the pictures of

My daughter. My wife and I had named her

Marina in Jimmy’s honor because

He had worked as a fishing boat captain

Before he knew about the MS and

Was forced to retire. My daughter held

A prominent place amongst the lot of

His pictures if not always in my mind.


Marina (Part 8)

Marina (Part 7)

Marina (Part 6)


Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through