Honey Bee by Trista Mateer
Novel Rating 5/5 ⭐️
Having been previously described as an “aggressively personal poet”, Trista Mateer takes this to heart and then to paper in her first collection. Presented more or less in the order it was written, the poetry in Honeybee is in turns bitter, tender, and messy. Following the course of a little more than a year, the poems showcased in Honeybee chronicle the on-again off-again process of letting go.
I found this gem when I was looking through the discover page on Instagram, and I automatically knew that I had to buy it! What really made me want to purchase Honey Bee is the subtitle. “A collection of poems about letting go”
I’m at a point in my life where there has been a lot of loss when it comes to relationships, so I purchased this to help with the process of letting go. The packaging is so adorable too, it’s just an envelope but Trista stamps it with a Honey bee stamp! It’s the cutest thing! I absolutely love being inspired by writers of all kinds, I love the way their words make me want to write my own and share them with the world. It is truly remarkable the power words can hold, especially if they’re coming from someones heart and soul. I am deeply moved by Trista’s soul, her work and her passion
so I truly can’t wait to see what more can come from her!
So there is only a few poems I truly connected to, but that’s fine because overall the collection is so very powerful and put together so seamlessly, even though Trista is re-releasing a new version of Honey Bee. Trista’s use for words is remarkable, any poem alone can make you feel something just by the use of wording. I’m so happy I purchased Honey Bee, I know that Trista Mateer has other collections and I can’t wait to read them all!
An excerpt from Honey Bee
I had the pleasure of speaking to the author and asking her a few questions, her answers are another reason why i truly admire her. She is truly fluent with her words and thoughts. So enjoy this interview as much as I did!
- What inspires you?
- Mouths. Grief. Pale pink. Saltwater. The way fruit bruises so easily. My own poor choices. Mental health. Dreams. Strangers’ conversations. Overcoming distance. The way people act in airports. My best friend’s horoscope. And her face. And the way her voice sounds when she reads out loud. Anyone who touches me and anyone who doesn’t.
- When did you first realize writing was an outlet for you?
- I was young when I started, maybe twelve or so. I was heavily invested in the escape that reading provided, but I kept finding myself frustrated with endings. I started writing to prolong the stories I sort of lived in. While that was definitely an outlet, it wasn’t the same kind it is now. I didn’t start writing about my own personal feelings or experiences until maybe high school.
- If you could change something in your life, what would it be?
It took a long time for me to believe in myself as a writer, or at least to believe that I personally had stories worth sharing with strangers. I wasted some good years writing quietly alone. I threw away so many poems.
- What goals drive you?
- Honestly? I know I’m supposed to say that I want to help people not feel alone and that I want to shed light on mental health issues and fight the stigma against bisexuality and just generally stand for love and against injustice. All those things are true, but they’re not the whole truth. I’ve been writing for me for so long, I’ll never be able to shake that. Some part of it will always be an exercise in introspection and trying to understand myself, trying to put complicated feelings to words, to get them out of me, to put them down somewhere so that I don’t have to carry them.
- If there was a fictional character who most represented you, who would it be?
- Emma Morely from One Day by David Nicholls is so Me that it hurts. Moreso the book version than the movie with Anne Hathaway–but still.
- Your favorite quote ever?
- “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” -Anne Lamott
- What is your favorite excerpt from your own novel? What story does it hold behind it?
- This is hard. I write so much. I’ve got multiple books and chapbooks out. It changes a lot. Although one that I’ve always had a particular soft spot for that I think gets overlooked a lot is “This Is How New Religions Start” from my book, The Dogs I Have Kissed.
Did you ever hear that story about Mary Magdalene washing the feet of Jesus with her hair? I mean, some people say it was her, some people say it was someone else. The point is: in theory, someone washed the feet of Jesus with their hair. Can you imagine doing that? I mean to anyone. It’s such a specific kind of intimacy wrapped up in supplication or submission. Have you ever kissed somebody you thought you weren’t good enough to kiss? Has anybody ever made you feel like you weren’t good enough to kiss them? To be near them? To share small, tender moments with them? Some people just feel so good right down to their core that I don’t know how to be around them. Love and guilt and lust and guilt and sex and guilt. Like waking up next to them makes me feel like a sinner. It makes me want to beg forgiveness for things that I’ve done and things that I haven’t quite done yet. Like they are the only thing I want to get on my knees and clasp my palms together for. Like even the sound of their breathing seems holy, holy, holy. Like I have no right to even think this, much less be in bed with them.
I knew a Catholic girl once and I had some very complicated feelings about her.
- Any current projects taking place?
- Almost always. I’ve got a couple things in the works, but the one I’m most excited about is the second edition of my first book, Honeybee, being released later this year. The first edition was important to me but the re-release is important to me in a different way. The book was originally put together and thrown out into the world in something like two weeks with very little editing or structure. I had a lot of feelings and I needed to get them out of me. The situation that sparked the collection of poems is over with now and it’s tucked away and I’ve done a lot of reflecting on it. There are poems I want to edit, sure, but it’s also important to me that I clarify the narrative. There was a lot going on there that didn’t make it into that book. It was bigger than me and my feelings. I’m trying to get it right this time.
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