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'each rock a coarse love' in collaboration with Michael Namkung
'each rock a coarse love' in collaboration with Michael Namkung
2018

1 poem, 2 artists, 3 pedestals, 4 rakes, 5 (nearly 6) tons of gravel …

Artists Melissa Wyman and Michael Namkung created an interactive contemplative space at Incline Gallery from MARCH 9 – APRIL 6.

Incline Gallery used to be a mortuary. The entire gallery is a series of narrow ramps that used to be used to wheel bodies up to the embalming room. Small landings break up the ascension towards this forthcoming destination. For 'each rock a coarse love', Melissa and Michael covered the entire gallery with about two inches of gravel and placed an irregular shaped pedestal on each landing. Handmade wooden rakes are available for smoothing and raking the surrounding gravel into patterns and designs, and for moving the slowly slipping rocks back uphill.

See photos

each rock a coarse love
- poem by Michael Namkung:

I gather myself to go down,
to drop open my hands
the further I descend
the more I am walking uphill

Along the same path that
the living wheeled the dead
to the mountaintop
on rickety gurneys

Toward their preservation
toward their re-presentation
toward their Eternal Presence Illusion

I too, walk this path.

Sometimes I stop
to rake my fingers through the water
and let the rocks on the riverbed—each rock a coarse love
that together, hold the weight of
my rickety body,
dig into me,
and mark my feet with their sharp impressions

My feet receive attentively
holding these marks
before they disappear
into the next step

before me
the rising path, falling away
a destination unknowable

behind me
the water runs swiftly
washing all the illusions of now
that followed me here