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.