©Gessy Alvarez

Poetry No. 3 – Chris Campanioni

Rules to Love By
By Chris Campanioni

1. Listen to The Submarines for the first time after some casualty
So much to sift through, you hardly ever noticed

2. Note the similarities between the girl singing
& how you remember your lover’s voice

3. Use the names of each song for your own liner notes
Where You Are, Anymore, Shoelaces
Occasionally untied as you trip over your doubts
Each word & syllable too

4. Make a prompt, contain yourself
Within the confines of rules, parameters, refrains
An obligation to create
As other things & people recede

5. Admit the obvious: desire + fear
So many whispers on the inside of each eyelid
Which never really fade

I could still surprise you

6. Imagine your favorite café
Dutch puff as soft as your lover’s palms
The smell of jasmine & toast

7. Put yourself there

8. Put the sun there

9. Put some music there
Music for Films
Music for Airports
Music for Break-Ups
Missed connections

10. Where would you be without a sense of longing
Or belonging to something outside yourself?

11. Make a list in your mind & write it down

12. Steal a ginger candy from the bar & say
The thrill is enough



Chris Campanioni is a first-generation Cuban- and Polish-American. He has worked as a journalist, model, and actor, and he teaches literature and creative writing at Baruch College and new form journalism at John Jay. He was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2013 for his collection, In Conversation, and his novel, Going Down, was selected as Best First Book for the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. He is also the author of Once in a Lifetime, a book of poems from Berkeley Press. Find him in space at http://www.chriscampanioni.com or in person, somewhere between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Barclays Center.

Photo of the The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade exhibit at Brooklyn Museum (July 10 – October 4, 2015) taken by: Gessy Alvarez