Love Me Tender
artwork by Jared Buckhiester
written by Charity Coleman
Untitled (house), 26 x 22 inches, ink on paper
Heart & Horror
A response to Jared Buckhiester’s work
My fish friend on the island falls asleep at night clutching ocean stones
in his fists: the heart-line breaks and veers
wending that tender path between reckoning and release...
He writes to me from underwater:
I think it’s helping. I can almost breathe again.
I reply: If you were my pet or patient
and not a sovereign creature
I’d put you on a drip
of lion’s mane and astragalus
I’d steep you in baths of holy basil—
Heartache is a kind of infirmity after all.
How is a body altered by longing? We apprehend the rigid form at attention, or a
fraught collision of defense and desire––but what does soft male yearning look like?
Friendship. Melancholy in suburban shadows. An empty house in some godforsaken
neighborhood crawling with predators. The kittens are teenage boys in repose; as men,
they are keepers of doom. The interim: metamorphosis and mundanity. In the school
yearbook they write, Don’t ever change! and I’ll never forget you! But time happens to
us. We might become unmoored by loss. Remembrance is love’s bedfellow, for better or
worse. The only antidote is anonymity, but you are you and you keep breathing.
Jared Buckhiester’s work sustains suspense like a horror film. Erotics and peril share a
narrative arc, troubling the notion of safe space. Instead of a lock of hair or a light kiss
on the back of a hand, lovers exchange the seepage of war: the language of aeons.
When we speak highly of something, we call it timeless, but we are fettered by our
pasts, our exes, our lifelong dance of severance and union. We don a costume, perhaps a
uniform, and shift shapes. We make contact and lose touch. It’s as elusive as trying to
photograph transgression or a haunting.
In love, we wear a body. In mourning, a shroud. For some occasions: a mask or armor.
Love asks us to exalt, to undress, to disarm. We enact physical transformation when we
love––mirroring death & rebirth. If you gaze into the dark mirror and say Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary Bloody Mary, you will see the face of the one you will love. You will see
the faces of your past lives. You will get scared, and turn on the light.
We hold stones in our fists so that we might feel anchored again.
We heal so that we may love again, and again be loved.
~ Charity Coleman~
Squadron Of Twelve Position 3B, Squad D Position F, both watercolor on paper
July 4th 11:10AM, 23.5 x 28 inches, ink watercolor and gouache on paper
Zapata, 32 x 10.5 x 7.5 inches, porcelain with underglaze and glazed red stoneware
Caregiver Caretaker, 18 x 23 inches, graphite and ink on paper, 2006
July 4th 9:15AM, 24 x 16 inches, ink on paper
Untitled, 49.5 x 38 inches, watercolor on paper with cotton t-shirt