Lost on Purpose by Karen Head

Karen Head’s new book, Lost on Purpose, is a collection revolving around travel and discovery, steeped in life and literature. The speaker explores new places, and settles into life with a stunning new love. Really, the book has all the things we want to read about in poetry. The writing is rich, beautifully-paced, and well-crafted. It’s a delight. Buy here.

From “Give Way”

. . . Like when I was eleven, / and fell down a flight of stairs, / all breath knocked out of me, / my granny refusing my panic— / locking here eyes with mine / blowing her breath hard on my face / until I gasped, cried out / with joyous fright. // That’s how it is, this love, . . .

From “But for the Grace”

. . . Being alone in Paris frightened me. // Being alone frightened me. // Perhaps it is this fear / that beckoned me tonight, / compelled me to watch over, / to pray for, the staggering drunk below / who bawls curses to the air / because he isn’t sure / he will find his way home.

From “Settling Down”

. . . You are giddy. So am I. There is no one to take a photo of us together. I bury my face in the hollow near your left shoulder. In less than an hour we will be forced to pack it in. How can I say this without it being a love poem? Months from now, sand will spill from the totebag’s pocket onto our bedroom floor in Atlanta—the grains settling quickly between the planks.