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About

Sean Michael is serving 25 years to life in prison. He has struggled with depression since childhood and writes to be (somewhat) sane.

He is the author of “Stygian,” a collection of dark poetry, available from Amazon, where you can also find reviews from people who have read the book.

A recording about “Stygian created especially for your enjoyment can be found on YouTube

Other social media sites to follow:

Twitter: @MadPoetEnchaine

Facebook:  facebook.com/MadPoetEnchained

Sean looks forward to your questions, comments, and feedback as well as being able to read and respond to your stories, poems and articles. Write on!

Sean’s grandmother manages this blog and other social media, and if you leave a question or comment, she will mail it to him by USPS and he will respond. He has no internet access so responses may take longer than you are used to. Also, if you would like to contact him by regular mail, his address is:

Sean Michael Couch, AA9603
Mule Creek State Prison, A-5-240
P.O. Box 409020
Ione, CA 95640

 

Version 2

 

The following is a poem from his published collection, “Stygian.”

Camelot

In the dust, thin Shards of glass are scattered:
What used to be a meth pipe.
A syringe is partially buried, protruding from the earth in its virulence.
I discard the device into a bag of thrash not knowing if it will end up back in the dirt.

Bodies lay bundled in blankets a few feet away.
Beneath a makeshift tent trying to evade the rain.
There’s a freeway running along side the camp;
Cars go gliding past.
I watch a solitary figure walk quickly across the bridge above–
On her way home or some other place to escape the downpour, I surmise–
The canyon’s slopes are beginning to muddy as the firmament cries.

No fiefdom of King Arthur’s court, this valley called Camelot,
But a domicile of scarred souls and wounded hearts.
Many faces I’ve seen in this canyon where homeless reside;
The sadness unmasked,
A loss of home revealed in their eyes.

I’ve found well-meaning souls in Camelot, and those only out for themselves:
Many will share with you their bread,
While there are some who will filch your only bite.

What brought you to this plight?
Was it war, drugs, money or family problems?
So many trek through Camelot each passing year;
Their tracks left in the earth, then covered again as new feet shuffle the dirt.

The rain is still falling as I rise to leave.
I hear a voice, beneath the makeshift tent, mumble between
consciousness and sleep.
Fleetingly, I wonder what it is they dream:
Of a better place — somewhere or someone they used to know?

I meander down the canyon’s muddy slope, being soaked in a cascade of rain.
Once in the valley, I lift my head up to the sky,
There is no blue, only thick sheets of grey.

Is there no exodus from this abyss, O’Camelot, great captor of souls?
Will the drugs continue to reign?
Will the lost be found or forgotten?

With a roar of thunder, the empyrean seems to riposte.
I look around me as the sullen rain drives furious:
On the freeway, the auto’s passing swish,
The bridge now free of pedestrians,
And through the foliage, I glimpse the blue tarpaulin shelter…

I’ve seen innocence and innocence lost in the beggary of Camelot.
For some it’s a fate they’ve accepted, living on the streets.
Still, for others it is hell.
As I stand in the downpour pondering life, my feet grow
restless and my mind begs for ease,
So with one last glance up the muddy slope, I turn to leave.
Reaching into my pocket I find my pen and paper there,
The blank page beckoning with an offer of reprieve;
I need to gather my thoughts….

Where I go, I shan’t know until arrival —
Emerging from the tenebrous Camelot.

14 Comments
  1. Why is he serving a life sentence?

    Like

    • Sean was convicted of Murder One under the Felony Murder rule. It is a little too complex to explain here but basically he wrecked a truck in the process of stealing it and a guy who had jumped into the back was thrown out and died.

      Like

  2. The law in this country is completely fucked up !! Under normal circumstances you would probably have gotten only a few years for vehicular homicide. Seems like the state used extenuating circumstance to really stick it to you which I am very sorry to hear about !! I admire you writing as a way to stay sane, and wish you well in putting this skill to use, maybe their will be greatness in the end from expressing rage and dreams and hopes from your confinement turned into words, thoughts, and feelings powerfully expressed !!! If you have access to a library, try to get a Poets Laureate Anthology so you start to see how powerfully words can be used !!! You will have my moral support !!

    Like

  3. Go to change.org and sign petition to repeal the Felony Murder Rule! I’m trying to write as much as I can and also trying to write about this law and push against it by garnering support against it. My post about this rule appeared on July 11. If you haven’t read it, do so now. The link for the petition is
    http://www.change.org/p/president-obama-and-governors-of-46-states-where-felony-murder-rule-applies-end-the-felony-murder-rule

    Like

  4. hypercryptical permalink

    Dear Sean
    I tried to write to you – but your email address is not recognised. If you wish – contact me via email – same is given on my blog.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

    Like

  5. From Sean’s Grandma: Very odd, but this is first I saw this comment. The email address above is correct so not sure why it didn’t work for you. E-mail just comes to me and I forward it on. Sean doesn’t have Internet access in prison. The best way to write him directly is by snail mail, and he loves to get mail. Currently, his address is

    Sean Couch AA9603
    Mule Creek State Prison, A-5-240
    P.O. Box 409020
    Ione, CA 95640

    Like

  6. Writing is such a powerful way to deal with depression and all the curves life deals us…and our choices incur. It seems to me that you accept responsibility and have so much opportunity. Wouldn’t a published poetry book from prison be a great project? I think it’s so important that everyone know the human side of your story, the reality that is yours and that of your fellow inmates. I send you good wishes and prayers.You know, I think we are all prisoners in one way or another. Just sayin’

    Like

    • From Sean’s Grandma: Thank you for your kind words and prayers for my grandson. Sean has actually put together 2 books of poetry, one of which is in the process of being published by Page Publishing, and will hopefully be out sometime soon after the first of the year.

      Like

    • Writing has always been a powerful tool for me. More and more as I hone my craft and skill. I went through a long period of not knowing how or what to write, when, at one time, it had come natural to me. Now my debut book, “Stygian,” has gone through the first editing stage and the interior layout being designed. The entire process should be complete in about 3 months.

      We do all have our vices and prisons we build for ourselves. I try to write about those as much as I do this prison I am in.

      Like

  7. Sean, I think you are so brave keeping your mind together being where you are. To me it seems very harsh for stupid decisions leading to very tragic consequences… To me your writing always have that authentic touch, and I admire your way to keep in touch with the blogosphere, and you have a great grandma…

    Like

  8. Thank you very much, Bjorn. I do have a great grandma and consider myself very lucky to have her.

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  9. Hi Sean – and his grandmother. Apologies for not calling you by name, I can’t find it anywhere. Kindly introduce yourself to us as it is through you that communication with Sean is possible.

    I’m trying hard not to utter any of the platitudes you’d like to send a searing knife through.

    Congrats on the book and I hope you get it distributed (and make some money). You’d have to excuse me, I can’t offer financial assistance – am a bit poor myself, living on a stipend provided to me. Your poetry is powerful. I like what you mentioned about it not being only up to you whether you write or not.

    I’m a bit shy here, it being the first time I ever heard about you, somehow missed your poems on Dverse although I’ve been taking part in it myself for a bit of time now. Should grandmother for some reason be unable to continue helping getting your stuff out there – what a labour of Love – I’d like to help in that respect, although I do live across the world from you, being in South Africa, and postage will take longer and be more expensive. I hope this is not out of order? Much regard and respect to grandmother for doing what she does.

    Like

    • My grandma prefers to be known only as “Sean’s Grandma” here and on my other social networking sites. Thank you for congratulations on Stygian. Page Publishing is handling distribution, wholesale accounts, ebook conversion, etc. I can see that you would like to help me out, and I appreciated that. Just clicking “Like” or “Share” and/or leaving a comment can go a long way. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. I look forward to reading your poems and hearing from you in the future. You can always contact me through the social sites or by regular mail (address above).

      Like

  10. Sad. Best wishes.

    Like

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