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This article takes the form of a thought-experiment that reconstructs Petronius' rules, conscious or unconscious, for the use of poems in the Satyrica. The rule set answers the question of how the poems are used, which is different from the ones addressed by Catherine Connors: why poems?, and Wei-Jong Yeh: what are the poetics of meter? The narratological question of how forces a systematic sorting of the poems and analysis of their functions. For this reason, the rule set provides a framework for the rethinking of various problems that have arisen in the usual interpretation-driven, case-by-case approach to the poems.