Friday, January 31, 2014

The only way to evoke change...

I have resolved to make a concerned effort to get back to blogging regularly. By regularly, I mean at least five times a week. It's easy to get sucked into social media, get distracted by the glow of sympathetic pleas. What am I talking about? Hmm...

Let's talk about a poet. This poet is a repeat offender of abuse towards women he's been in relationships with. Here's one account of abuse from poet Kia Groom. She's not the only one. Not all have come forward, but another, my poet friend Kat Dixon has also been vocal in her experiences with Greg Sherl and about the abuse she suffered. You don't need me to explain what happened. These two women do a good job of it. 

Now here's the kicker to this story: Greg Sherl has an online fundraiser going to help him overcome his "OCD". Granted, he might actually have OCD. He might suffer from a lot of the things that my neighbor suffers from. Here's the thing: my neighbor doesn't use his illness as a reason to beat the shit out of his wife. You don't beat someone for not being able to get the stain out of a shirt.

I don't care about his poetic celebrity. I don't care about whether or not he's any good. A piece of crap like this doesn't need to be rewarded by anyone, and his little fundraiser is the equivalent of that. I do know that Gregory Sherl has been gaining more popularity in the poetry world. It seems that popularity can excuse certain things in society, whether you're a poet, musician, actor, etc. Naturally, I call bullshit. People like this need to be held accountable for their actions, not coddled. 

On top of all of this, Sherl is involved in writing for an online project called The Good Men Project. There are, in fact, some good men writing there. One of which is Ryan Bradley, a poet, friend and the cover artist for Maverick Duck Press. I certainly wouldn't want to take away from the core of what the website is trying to promote, but allowing Sherl's articles to remain on their site is entirely detrimental to the spirit of what they're trying to promote. In that sense, I can't in good conscious, promote or support anything they advertise until they've booted Sherl from their site permanently. 

You can ultimately decide for yourself. Read Kia and Kat's statements. They won't be the only ones you'll find about Greg Sherl abusing women. The writing community, the poetry community, needs to take a stand and say, "We will not condone the actions of an abuser." Gregory Sherl needs to be held accountable for his actions.

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