Syzygy, Beauty: An Essay by T Fleischmann


A book-length lyric essay triangulating between contemporary art, the construction of a house, and the direct address of a lover.

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Our Bookseller says:

I once dated a bartender. A weekend routine, shots and hands and barely knowing each other. One morning, stoned and watching Man vs. Wild, he said “I love you” and so I had to break up with him.

T Fleischmann calls this an essay, which is one of the 21st century’s most brazen acts of understatement. Actually, Syzygy, Beauty is a whirling set of microessays/prose poems/declarations/explorations/interrogations that erode boundaries and binaries alike. Whatever you call it, it’s intense. Musings on topics from art criticism to Gnosticism complicate and deepen this messy, disjointed record of relationships falling apart. – Terry

“T Fleischmann’s Syzygy, Beauty shimmers with confidence as it tours the surreal chaos of gender, art, and desire. Its declarative sentences—seductive, abject, caustic, moving, informative, and utterly inventive—herald a new world, one in which we are blessedly ‘here with outfits like strings of light and no future.’ I hail its weirdness, its ‘armpit frankess,’ its indelible portrait of occulted relation, and above all, its impeccable music.”—Maggie Nelson

Construction becomes quiet, the saw buzz and the bang little white wisps that stop at my edges. We’ll get used to most anything, at least enough to keep going. The will of the wisp. I want to poke a hole in my words so that people notice you are not here. Comfortable divots you could fill some day, if you wanted to. My mother sighs, my friends sigh. “You’re so sad,” they say. I’m not, I’m really not. I’m just trying to breathe fully. The shadow of the mountain turns with the day, encroaching. When it settles on me I put the hammer down and walk to where it is still warm.

In Syzygy, Beauty, T Fleischmann builds an essay of prose blocks, weaving together observations on art, the narrator’s construction of a house, and a direct address to a lover. Playing with scale and repetition, we are kept off-center, and therefore always looking, as the speaker leads us through an intimate relationship that is complicated and deepened by multiple partners, gender transitions, and itinerancy.

Syzygy, Beauty: An Essay by T Fleischmann
Epilogue BCB