Beside the Tall Brick Buildings

Poetry Comic / Sara Wainscott

:: Beside the Tall Brick Buildings ::




From the writer

:: Account ::

This project plays with creating hybrids of existing texts to stretch their metaphorical contexts. The vehicle for these pieces is Winsor McKay’s hundred-year-old comic strip “Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.” In their original versions, each strip recounts a dream—or perhaps nightmare—of a different character who has eaten rich food before bed, usually Welsh rarebit. For this project, McKay’s comic is used as a given form and placed in conversation with retellings and readings of dreams; text sourced from online dream forums and interpretation sites fills the speech balloons.

In the resulting combinations, I’m not always sure what’s happening. Words and images maintain parallel relationships, yet there’s an interplay between the defined action and the depicted action. Is this friction? Symbiosis? In any case, this experiment thrives on metaphor that resists logical comparison, and to that end, I delight in the absurdities that result from combining these texts. These poems give a nod to phobia, desire, anxiety; they acknowledge incongruity; they recognize the need to tell each other what we see in the dark. I find this all kind of comforting.


Sara Wainscott’s work has appeared most recently in RHINO, Poetry Northwest, Requited, The Journal, and The Columbia Poetry Review. She co-curates Wit Rabbit, an inter-genre reading series, and teaches writing at Columbia College and Oakton Community College.