With the addictive immediacy of a ’90s zine, Trinie Dalton’s first-person fictions read like photocopied memoirs, even when her main character’s a male Catholic elf. The L.A.-based editor of the lycanthrope-friendly Werewolf Express, Dalton opens Wide Eyed on Pavement’s “Range Life” and ends with Lou Reed as Prince Charming, owner of a castle he bought after a “drug-induced vision of Snow White loving him.” Whether it’s a lobster-loving Mick Jagger or the Flaming Lips’ drummer transmitting psychic vibes, her cameo rockers function as glittery talismans.
Equal parts Lisa Carver and Michelle Tea, Dalton’s tales feature hummingbirds, manatees, Wookiees, shrooms, the video game Burgertime, her boyfriend (artist Matt Greene), and late-night horticulture (“to be quite frank, my moon garden is the horniest place on Earth”). Her libido skips a beat when she’s eating bacon, looking at a unicorn pic in a Texas motel, or watching a salamander swim. Because folks also grow wide-eyed from fear, Dalton stocks her Eden with bloody tiles, old lady ghosts, various forms of loneliness, sliced fingers, dudes obsessing girl puke, girls obsessing eBay trinkets, “the Summer of Ailments,” and a sketchy biker-like guy spitting in a teenager’s underwear. These oddities create a rainbow-colored Rorschach. As one narrator admits: “I am still officially turned on by fur. I’m also in awe of living animals and wish to celebrate their lives to the fullest.” Her subsequent fantasy includes fireside champagne and Barry White—fueled sex while reclining on the tanned skin of her deceased pooch.