The line destroys, leaps from the point, bold; stretches out bodily to sketch a world: an open plane of bliss, brilliant and civilized. Mankind inhabits this patience of light. Each one, given luck, may find his locus here. With my internal geometry, curling carefully round, firm I capture space: a steel cascade as fragile and fluid as our knowing. The sure angle is wrecked, and the slightest move re-vises. So the mirror drifts; you must see your reflection by faith, where it is most precise. You can lean on dreams from the very first third of your life. Hamburg: I knew the coming havoc, hyenas in our living room, an elbow lodged right where the vase patterned with tiny amber pears, but I locked the house anyway. I threw the key in the Alster. And I leapt. I dug into my inky under to begin again. I started drawing without paper. My memory split off, traveled like the cool line on its imperturbable way, merging back with itself only sometimes in dreams—for instance officers, heaven crushed in their teeth, trudging La Capilla de Lourdes. Women in grand hats and collar patches. An explosion into many many-faced shapes, kinetic and tangled, a structure of spaces, transparent, sheer like our shimmering fears. Un dolor. When I’m in reality, where life is pleasant, students and children are pleasant, the garden is pleasant, I build vacuums to contain. I build volume with lines: nets of emptiness. Homes. Reticules weaving space into new worlds. I’m interested in the nothing between the lines and the sparkling when they cross, when they are interrupted—where our eyes catch. Where we see in a flood the intersection of matter and feel a regular assurance before slipping to weigh the invisible, the uncharted holiness. There is no danger for me to get stuck, because with each line I draw, hundreds more wait to be drawn. I use my hands: an operatic spray of lines, vaulting, each one sprung and free.
Nic Leigh‘s work has appeared in The Collagist, DIAGRAM, UNSAID, Gobbet, and the Atticus Review.