“Trista Mateer’s previous book, her debut collection of poetry entitled Honeybee, was a breakout example of heartfelt poetry and the talent of baring the soul. I said that Honeybee ‘demands things’ and it did: It demanded your time, your heart, your soul, your emotions through a roller-coaster of meaningful yet painful poetry.

In her second collection, The Dogs I Have Kissed, the nature of the beast shifts a little, but only enough to bring out the best. Where Honeybee was a book about getting over someone and the effects of love, Dogs reminded me more of the thoughtful feelings that occur much after one’s heart is broken. Things are repairing, faults are being fixed. And the result, at least for Trista, is a book of gorgeous, profound, flowing poetry.

The book’s penultimate poem is, without a doubt, the final one: I Forgive You For Not Meeting Me On the Bridge. There is a line in that poem that pains me to even read, but that is the unparalleled charm in Trista’s writing—it hurts you, and you let it hurt you, again and again and again. Because a hurt that beautiful demands both attention and feeling. The final poem might be the best, but is only so because of the journey to it. Pages and pages of unique, trembling, powerful poetry from a well-cultivated voice.

I have had the pleasure watching Trista’s style evolve, unfold, and grow over the last few years, and both her poetry and the writings on her eponymous blog showcase the sort of raw, unbridled talent you can only find in the heartfelt reaches of the indie scene.”Brandon R. Chinn, author of The Kognition Cycle

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