NC Literary Hall of Fame












A Way I Sing by Patty Cole

Main Street Rag
$8.00, paperback
September, 2015
Available for pre-order from the publisher

"Saying Patty Cole writes about death is far too simplistic an assumption. While there is suicide and haunting music playing in the background among the cows, snakes, and birds, we understand how one doesn’t need to repeat the past; rather, the pain of the past allows us to be more mindful of the present. Cole is a master at using one-word images to streamline complicated emotions. (‘Twenty little birds flew in a torrent toward an oak tree / in the middle of a meadow / then up through a sky suddenly ripped open.’) Within Cole’s collection of journeys we feel degrees of loss from a daughter losing her mother to decayed fruit in the refrigerator to the loss of young lives after Sandy Hook. Thanks to Cole’s work, we’re reminded that when we embark on any journey, we may lose our innocence, but gain deep knowledge. Drink up these poems to find the bits of your life ‘in the dust lining every room, / sticking to cobwebs where memories hang.’"
—Alice Osborn, author of Heroes without Capes and editor of Creatures of Habitat

Part of the MSR Author’s Choice Chapbook Series

Night to Day

I stand in the backyard smoking, 3 a.m.,
no sleep for zombies like me.
Curse Hollywood horror movies.
I imagine vampires are tipping the waiter,
rummaging in their pockets for loose change,
full of cat, rat, and possum, then stealing away
to die all over again.

I die knowing the moon will raise her speckled skirt,
and the sun will subtract while the mockingbird
sings a new day—all before I’ll sleep.

Even Venus will fade.


Patty Cole lives on a farm in Chatham County, North Carolina, where she and her husband raise chickens, goats, and scrumptious delights from their orchard and garden. She studied English and French at West Virginia State University where she graduated with honors. She has earned awards from the Fields of Earth Poetry Contest and the North Carolina Poetry Society.

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