by Bonnie Schell

...none of you should expect me to follow the path worn by the common herd of rhetoricians, that is, to explain my subject matter - myself - by a definition, much less to divide it into parts.
-- Erasmus, In praise of folly 

He runs a coroner’s office over time
dissecting those who disagree
examining their remarks to him
on his private e-mail sites.
This one did not understand his victimization
by Radical Therapy.  This one was warped
by being in the fox holes of Vietnam
while he the Berkeley Guru heard the voice
of his Colonel grandfather who died 
before Bartholomew was born.  Charge the hill
to save the ignorant!  He had a deferment, 
though the Federal government
had a bounty on his head he thought
because his father championed The New Math.
He wears a tux to the opera in San Francisco
stepping over derelicts sleeping in the streets.
He gathers the naïve and marginalized
in remedial math classes in city colleges.
Never making eye contact, Bartholomew consults
only with himself, blowing phrases 
into his bushy, graying beard.  Many try to be
his friend, but Bartholomew would rather be alone.

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