Mary Niagara


MT is a poetic and visual project that combines an updated take on the epic Spenserian poem Psyche by Mary Tighe (1805) with additional biographic elements taken from the life of the poet. The basic structure (and in limited cases, form) of the original are appropriated in a mix between the story of Psyche, Cupid and Venus (jealousy is a main theme) and the story of the poet, Mary Tighe, herself. They are repurposed to include an allegory for the oppression of women and the other from the so-called canon, positions of power, respect, basic humanity, etc. The third component is a series of poems written by Mary Tighe, the character, after today’s feminist poet cohert, bound together in kind of an ongoing proposal for the creation of a new feminist canon.

Mary Niagara is a queer anarcho-feminist organizer. Recently she has made a main focus for her political work in transformative justice issues, self-organized perpetrator rehabilitation and boundary crossing awareness for people accused of boundary crossing. This includes the creation of transformative justice networks, not for exclusion or organized bullying but for rehabilitation and healing possibilities from the perspective of an intersectional prison abolitionist. She is as grateful for the love of her supporters and co-organizers as she is for the criticism of her haters.

Oct.8, 2017

Do they bring her flowers and stale bread like
the way they used to do to me. They used to worship

at my temple, not a metaphor that they prayed
I would come and grace them with a vision of my rapture.

It is not for me that they come anymore,
that they share visions of sun, the beach,

the mountain, sand falling ever under their lapping shores
and I am the forgotten one. My eyes see nothing else.

They’ve left me. I was not whole. I was part.
Even as I was a vision they bored of me,

the repetition noxious, their face drifting off towards,
other, lovelier, younger, more bold, more lively.

The fresh wins, a flesh as yet undevoured.
Her secret phrases have yet to be unlocked,

damned, Pysche. I lack the will to compete
on a field that is not my own. She would be

criminal to dare to test me but this does not matter to them.
No feat of wit, no accomplishment can attract the heart

which has strayed too far and however strong
the pull of my orbit I resent possession. So who

am I to complain, we drift on not in free will but as a myth
and I wear my jealousy like a shroud I fight to dissolve,

a coat made of hair, woven from shame and those
bodily fibers strung directly to the heart and slowly

ripped free from the tendon, the long and resentful
stiffness of a full but damaged organ which never rests.

They displease me, insult me both with their indifference and
their renewed capability for devotion. Why is she better than me.

Their attention was the only food I could eat. Worship
fed me, their goddess, now left to be neglected, to be starved

while a mere mortal, one who cannot be sustained by breath
alone is bestowed with gifts they cannot use. Alone I’m left

only with pride and lust, to defend a territory, my fields,
soaked in the blood of the millions forsaken before me.

We all die either way, alone in pride or
adored for hiding our filthy intimations.

How can I remember them, I who dared love them when
all that mattered was that I show them my disgust.

That I elevate myself so far beyond their simple humanity
that they could never mistake any loose gesture for one of love.

My affection betrays me as weak for an individual,
(that is a flaw) what only causes them confusion, opacity,

am I then a god, they might ask themselves. What have I done.
They’ve devoured all the gifts they once placed at my alter.

My alter is empty and they think they are a god like me.
If only I had never loved them. If I had seen them for what they are,

unfaithful, baseless, incapable of love and true devotion,
insecure, self-loathing, justified in it, all of them. Why

October 28, 2017

will depression become the most diagnosed disease in their world
they might ask me and I can only tell them, for lack of gratitude.

I love all of them and they only love someone else and then another
and it pours out from them unevenly, in cracks, instead of the divine flow

I was intended to receive. I pity them, unstructured for omniscient love
they break apart like a primitive damn built by children out of rocks when

they only seek a place to swim and not to disrupt a whole ecosystem
which they are ignorant of, which they don’t ignore so much as trample

over and over with their imagined classes, I can never remember
if they think they are better than the fish or the slime or if they just

think they are better than each other, all esteem and hatred
superficial and petty until death, did they not notice that

their bodies are so weak the meekest creature, the worm
devours them readily, eagerly, their most patient lover.

I want a lover whose other lovers salute me and fall in line where they belong.
I want a lover whose love plays for me over the next 100 years, black because

it is impenetrable, dark because I know every corner and can walk it blind.
However high my throne I sit alone, and this is what they’re all striving for

so I pity them. The pedestal will never be a comfort to them in old age.
The eyes which surround them will only drive them to an insanity,

drowning in a rage of inadequacy like Narcissus my son.
If only I had taught him, it’s you who is sought.

November 12, 2017

It’s you who builds places of worship and fills them with flocks.
It doesn’t matter that he’ll find no one to surpass him. He is

the mirror not the reflection. He is not the reflection.
But this is only for a god or a goddess to understand.

A simple person like him couldn’t bear the weight of adoration.
He wasn’t fed by the worship, it only fanned his own desires

to find that object, externalize his devotion, something no one
could hold. How to be an object, my poor dead son, how to hold

the stares, grow from them, demand nothing in return.
You’re playing them, they’re paying you. The dreams

their body could never hold a candle next to.
How could he love them, infantile, prone.

How could they love her, purposeless, lost in self-devotion,
it’s domesticity. I can’t shame her. I love her just as much as they do.

She’s an angel, cherubic, soft, young. There’s not a hint of her inner evil
on her unlined face. When she moves even it’s soft. She walks and you feel

goodness washing over you. It’s an art, her sweetness. She hypnotizes them,
steals them, dangling them from the wallet she just lifted off the undercover

all while weaving in her plodding way, far off her toes,
an invisible magic of steps. She’s a crusade of liberation,

a vision of a world without control, without hate
and I adore her every bit as much as they do.