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James Strazza

James Straz­za was a full-time musi­cian and music pro­duc­er. He com­posed songs and arrange­ments for him­self and his cus­tomers before he became bed­bound at 32 with severe ME/CFS fol­low­ing mono from the Epstein Barr virus. Los­ing his abil­i­ty to cre­ate, or even lis­ten to music, James began to write poems using talk-to-text on his phone in July of 2020. By Octo­ber he had writ­ten more than a hun­dred poems and his moth­er helped him with the pro­duc­tion of his first vol­ume of poet­ry with illus­tra­tions: “Lyri­cal, Poems That Will Blow You a Kiss or Punch You in the Stomach.”

Book „Lyri­cal“

since 2020

An Artis­tic Man

send an artis­tic man to hell and he will
write poet­ry of his suf­fer­ing
and of the beau­ty in the flames.

Good News

i hate shar­ing good news
it’s nev­er that good
just hell with less fire.

like remov­ing water from the
cap­sized ship with a sil­ver ladle.

yes this is good
i am two spoon­fuls lighter
but i’m still a sink­ing ship
please don’t for­get that.

Hap­py Ending

we want a hap­py end­ing we want a hap­py end­ing
chant­i­ng from the able bod­ies
out­side dis­abled headquaters.

we are fever­ish­ly work­ing towards a one-minute mon­tage
where a man with a cur­able ill­ness
push­es him­self to the extreme by
doing yoga and fast­ing and drink­ing cel­ery juice but it’s
not done yet
we must hur­ry
they need a hap­py ending.

a brick flies through the win­dow
i’m not sure how much more the bar­ri­cade on the door
can han­dle.

they are demand­ing a hap­py end­ing
with­out it they don’t know how to cope
they don’t know how to con­cep­tu­al­ize their prob­lems their
fears their wor­ries of sick­ness of get­ting old but if we could
make every­thing OK in this one-minute mon­tage if we could
make a hap­py ending–

i have to go i’m scared for my safe­ty
the bar­ri­cade just broke we are so close to being fin­ished
i’m not sure if we we’ll make it
or what they’ll do to us if we don’t
wish us luck
to be continued…

“Every­thing will be OK”

every­thing will be okay
rammed down my throat
like sovi­et pro­pa­gan­da
“every­thing will be ok”
as if life were a film
and i were the lead.

priv­i­lege preached as prophe­cy
lux­u­ry assumed as inevitabil­i­ty
poten­tial pre­sent­ed as promise.

what hap­pens when it’s not?
our world­view crum­bles -
cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance
“this can’t be, yet here it is.”

what a painful truth to learn
i am not the lead role
i am the unnamed, the forgotten.

they hide me away when they say
“every­thing will be ok.”