Chris Campanioni Responds To Our Questions!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

Apple Jacks—if I was still nine. Now I really enjoy oatmeal with a lot of things thrown in the mix: peanut butter, cottage cheese (yes, I said that), a banana, honey, shredded coconut, a whole lot of cinnamon. Adulthood means never having enough.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

(I think the Easter Egg Reality Beach provided—which I just now noticed!—speaks really well to the piece’s context, and the process and the inspiration, which included my students at Pace and a homework prompt I’d assigned to them.)

What is your creative process?

I write while listening to music. I’m very conscious of this; I often create playlists just for writing or for writing specific moments, actual scenes or more tonal emotions. And then of course, the music and the flow of the mix will actually dictate what I write and it will very often overtake what it is I am writing, and I often even try to show that interruption in the text itself. Like song lyrics that puncture the narrative but also create something new.

Where would you like to be at the end of the universe?

Reading The Wild Boys, by William S. Burroughs. While I listen to “The Wild Boys” by Duran Duran … and maybe with my free index finger, slowly write the sequel on my iPhone, which is where almost all of my writing begins, in my Notes section.

What is your favorite part about being human?

Our vulnerability.

What do you rule over?

I bow down to a lot of things: my appetite, my favorite writers and their words, my significant other, the care and guidance of my family and friends. I really can’t think of a single scenario in which I play ruler. I’m not much given to ruling; I’d much rather strive and the view is better looking up.

How can we support you and buy more of your work?

My new book, Death of Art, is available now from C&R Press, and although you can find it in bookstores and on Amazon, I always recommend going straight to the independent source and the publisher itself. I also try to update the Words In Space section of my website as often as I can, and that’s where you can find several poems, short stories, essays, and novel excerpts that have previously been published online, for free. People like free things and I’ve even heard that free food has no calories.

What is your daily motivation?

Writing myself out of death, as WSB would say and what I think he truly wanted. But realistically: just striving to be a better person, and a better writer, each day. And sometimes the two aren’t always mutual, so you have to work at both, especially among the NYC art school literati and so much of the parasitic-sycophantic publishing industry at large.

Anything coming up in the near future?

I have a lot of work appearing in some cool places, from really cool and amazing editors; some of these will be published in the next few weeks, including Yemassee, DIAGRAM (its October erasure issue, in which I erase my favorite Erasure songs), RHINO, and The Brooklyn Rail. One of my favorite hybrid longform pieces—Hot Tips For Healthy Living—was just published by Entropy and it begins with the line: “Never work.” I think it kind of got lost in the montage of recent publications in August when it hit the net, but in a way, it encompasses all of my questions and concerns about postinternet culture, some of which is provoked and intimated in “I arrive as I always do.”

Who is your alter ego?

My parents’ eight-year- old Doberman, named “Lexie.” She can be a troublemaker, but she’s got verve. She’s very playful. I guess she’s my evil twin.

Make sure to read Chris’s poem in Issue Three!

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