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Erica Knowles

Erica Knowles wrote, "Erica is a student at URI, and has been writing her whole life. She keeps a blog (barely) and too many journals. After ten years in Atlanta, Georgia, she has recently returned to her native home of Rhode Island. She also enjoys drawing and painting, as well as singing and playing her mini piano."

2/17/2012:   The Origami Poems Project expresses great sadness over the passing of our friend, Erica Knowles, who died in a car accident just after midnight, Wednesday, February 15th in So Kingstown, RI.  Erica, 23, was a Junior at URI. We knew her best as a poet.  Erica would email us out of the blue with a collection of poems that just fell together as an Origami book. Always cryptic but enthusiastic with her emails, she let her poetry sing out and beyond the page. Oh, and yes, she would always send a photo that perfectly completed the cover.

We are grateful to have Erica's poetry available - Thank you, Erica.

*  2014 February Anniversary Tribute edition, Travel Light, is published below.  Thank you again to Erica and to her loving family.

Erica's Origami micro chap-books & selected poems are available below. 

Origami Micro-chapbooks

Selected Poem(s)

Travel Light


Cover Photo selected by Ashley Knowles
Erica’s 1st Typewriter

{mooblock=Here's some advice: Travel light}

You will learn what it is you want along the way. You can't start a journey with a pack filled to the brim of things that you "might" need. Leave room for the things you will learn and come to love. Leave room for the things that you will discover and the things that will define you. Leave room and leave the rest, it will only confuse you and drown you in clutter, muddling your thoughts and your vision of yourself, blocking your best path. Your best self. Be in a state of constant motion, a state of doing and bettering. Never stop learning. Never stop pushing forward. If you can do this than I truly have no doubt that your answers will become obvious and reveal themselves. But first you have to let go of everything you don't need and don't know.
Erica Knowles © Facebook entry, May 18, 2011


Selected Poems 2008-2011

Photo chosen by her sister, Ashley Knowles
We knew Erica best as a fellow poet.
She would email us out of the blue
sending us a collection of poems
that would magically fall together
to form the perfect Origami book.
It was difficult to choose just five for this collection.
We hope you will love them. - OPP editors

{mooblock=Wild Desire}

Careful, careful
Is what one must be
With fire.
And so the same with
Wild desire.
Erica Knowles © 2011


Miles & I.


{mooblock=Note from the Author}

I think grief
tends to be something
that makes the whole world
a big empty lonely space.
It knocks the wind out of you,
leaves you wordless
and unable to function normally.
It makes you forget who you are without it.


Repetition of Sound

Cover design by Erica Knowles


If I could marry
The pen and the paper
I would.
Let words be my savior.
I only wish they could
Love me back,
Instead of just saying they do.
Erica Knowles © 2011


Imaginary Places


{mooblock=On The Run}

I know if I remain immobile,
This melancholy dust will settle
Fine and light over my living skin,
Making it forget the sun,
And the rain,
And all the things in the world.
My muse is on the run.
Erica Knowles © 2011



Cover photo by Ben Nelson
These poems are written for my father.

{mooblock=What I'll give you}

I really want
To give you
Something good
Because you gave me
My life
And then the world.
But all I have
Are these few words
And a love too big
To ever be
Described by them
Erica Knowles © 2011


All the World

These poems are for learning to stand on your own two feet
and have been inspired by the beautiful
and sometimes devastating honesty of life. - EK

{mooblock=Tracing Hearts}

If you stand at the door
At just her height,
Breathe on the glass.
You will find there
The outline of a heart
She has traced
Innumerable times.
A promise:
You are never alone.
Erica Knowles © 2011


Wrighter's Block

Cover photo by Erica Knowles


Someone's hand upon my face,
Fingers laced into my hair.
A silent promise,
A calming presence,
You are not alone.
I exhale
And fog up the car window.
A word written there
I had forgotten.
Inscribed a thousand years ago.
But the lonesome mystery remains:
Whose fingerprints are these?
A ghost’s.
These words on my windows are
Promises that died long ago.
And like the silver vapor of my breath
My calm slips away
Leaving me alone.
Erica Knowles © 2010


Tuesday's Aftermath



I wish heartbreak was brief
But it never is.
A good heartbreak is like a good love.
So remember,
Never dye your hair when you're upset.
Resist the temptation to text.
Never look back, you can't go back.
Burn bridges.
If they are necessary, you'll rebuild them.
Wear a seat belt when driving
Under the influence of heartbreak.
And when you really let go
Be sure the only one bear witness is a radio.
And only let them see you bleed once.
Just so they know you're human.
Don't panic love,
Everything is going to be wonderful.
Erica Knowles © 2010


Either Side of Midnight


{mooblock=Angel Stern}

Spun in from the universe
The world aglow,
Not a thing to my name
Save for a smile
With no reason or rationality.
I pass the time,
Grabbing at ropes of light,
Climbing to higher elevations.
Encircled by pinpricks of color,
We are chaos at its finest.
Polaris winks from the center
Of the night sky
Daring me to think of a wish.
Morning light creeps quietly
And as the night begins to fade
I reach up and slip the
Guide star into my pocket
So I am never lost.
Erica Knowles © 2010


A Grand Thing



I would like to be more than a spare key
Or a half remembered dream.
The faceless nameless woman,
The do-er of his laundry
Forever searching for love
In the pockets of his jeans.
I want to be more than the wrong flavor
Of coffee or vitamin water.
More than the wrong song
By the right artist.
More than underappreciated.
More than background noise,
The comforting sounds of morning.
Erica Knowles © 2010


Lucid Chaos



She examined each thing,
Strange and slightly transparent,
With wide-eyed curiosity
Amazed she'd carried such
Treasures inside her
All along.
And she realized with
She didn't know herself
At all.
Erica Knowles © 2010