Composed as a single, fractured whole, Heather Phillipson’s NOT AN ESSAY is a tense handshake, momentary eye-contact, a rap on the cranium.

This text stakes out a bodily territory in which bodies are inflated and denied. Preoccupied with intimacy and its opposite, its narrator detours through the nightclub, the city graveyard, changing rooms, an overheated swimming pool, free jazz, public toilets, the in-house cinema, searching for – what? Can we still cope with torsos? Are we prepared for faces? Would we like to press together in the dark?

Cavalier, acerbic, droll and disconsolate, the text is a self-incrimination, the noise of the intellect giving its mechanics away. The chronicler is contrary, fallible – a body among bodies, a nervous system, an overwrought brain, the awareness of open pores, clothed in subjectively awful trousers.

Published 12.12

pennedinthemargins.co.uk

Promo video by Heather Phillipson

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