after Andreas Capellanus

Dear Walter, I’ve heard you’re a new recruit to Love’s defensive line—nose tackle or end, I can’t remember—and because I care about your ligaments and bones, I’m sending this message through word of mouth, tweets, status updates, and these frail poems, to share the playbook: how to maintain a continual buzz on Love, or how those with Venus’s burrs in their leg-hair can untangle themselves. You blogged that you were blocked and knocked down by Love in a scrimmage and lay concussed, unable to drive or make decisions, that doctors have found no cure, and the ruling on the field stands. I can’t emphasize how serious this is, in 140 characters or 250 words. I know from experience that someone wearing Love’s uniform can think of nothing but how to stay on varsity, the lady barking commands on the sidelines. You think you have nothing worthwhile but what pleases her: brawn and light feet. Therefore, although it’s not efficient to sing the same fight song again and again, nor fitting for a healthy young man to endanger his cranium, nevertheless, because of the crush I once had on you, I can’t say no. After you know more, you’ll be a model citizen: obey speed limits in work zones, use condoms, watch out for girls with spray tans and four-inch heels. Insofar as I can, I’ll comply with your desire to know: Here is the art, these are the rules.

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