Dusk Before Dawn: Poems

These poems represent the most formative years in the creative life of the author. Moving ever closer to a different reality, Knauss presents the reader with a world in which anything is possible. Experience the horror, the laughter, the sorrow and the joy as she takes us on a physical, psychological, and spiritual journey through words.

“Reading her poetry is like doing tequila shots: you feel every drop of words as they enter your system, and when each poem hits you in its entirety, it is no time at all until you want to belly up to the bar and ask her to hit you again. But that’s not it, because after the book is closed, there’s no hangover, only the sense that you’ve heard a voice you want to listen to again.” —Author Seymour Hamilton

“Through these poems I not only felt a connection to the Moors as they were expelled by a new regime, I also felt a connection to everything that makes Spain what it is. I felt a yearning to jump on the first plane and head to Córdoba or Barcelona.” —Goodreads reviewer

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Call Numbers of the Wild

The cold night gnaws at her feet,

quickly moving

on the path

along the edge of the pond.

The stars twinkle like Morse code.

Her breath hangs in the air long after she is gone.

In the pond it is dark,

with fish and snapping turtles.

Her eyes have strained

to investigate their world.


Up the wide steps go the raggedly cold-gnawed feet.

The heat inside the library keeps her cheeks red

and her eyelids low.

Her fingers gather dust and mold

as they fly along


after row

of books books books,

All In Order

before she can leave them.

Books books books

navigate their dust and mold through her nose, up into her brain.

Books books books

draw her eyes into infinity.

Above and below,

to the left and to the right,

in front and behind,

what is not book is concrete.

Dust and mold. Pulp, ink, concrete.

There is no air at Infinity.

Only call numbers.

PQ 6323 . A1 1979b v. 1.

PQ 6323 . A1 1979b v. 2.


The fish watch with unblinking eyes

as again the chilled feet,

now down to the bones,

step hurriedly around the pond their home.

PQ 7797 .C7145 R3.

The stars overheard tap out their code.

The water is not as cold as she had imagined it would be

E 125 .N9 N88.

as it closes over her feet,

her knees, her hips,

BF 241 .I44 1973.

her shoulders,

her neck,

and her hair.

BD 21 .W4.

It feels fuzzy.

The water feels fuzzy

like dust and mold.


A Video of Without Language in Córdoba (fragments)


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