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Get to Know

James Strazza

James Strazza's ability to act on his talent and drive have been sidelined by Severe ME/CFS. Galen is determined to share her son's story, and his relentless struggle to create, in spite of his prison: the bed, the room, and the darkness he has been trapped in since 2019.

 

MUSIC

Before James became bed bound with Severe ME/CFS, he was a full-time musician and music producer. He composed songs and arrangements for himself and his customers. See below for samples of his earlier music, plus music he composed while sick, which others performed for him, or check out his music on Spotify.

POETRY

When James became severely ill and bed bound, and could no longer hold a guitar, sing, or use his computer, he was overwhelmed by his loss. Who was he now? Was he no longer a musician since he couldn't even listen to music, let alone play or sing? Every day for almost a year, living with no creative outlet - a prisoner trapped in a dark room, any sound an assault on his brain - he faced the painful question, Why was he still alive? Desperate to make his trapped life worth living, he discovered the only expression of creativity that he could muster: poetry. It came naturally after years of writing lyrics. He could compose on his phone using talk-to-text. In July, 2020, he wrote his first poem. And they kept coming. He had found something to live for. By October of that year he had written more than 100 poems and Galen published his first book of poetry: Lyrical, Poems that will blow you a kiss or punch you in the stomach.

 

ART

When James became strong enough to use his iPad, he began to draw. See his artwork below. At Shell-Point.com you can purchase stretched canvas prints of any of his pieces.

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NATIONAL MEDIA

An in-depth article about James went national on the USA Today network in 2022.
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Link to the article online:

Full article: 

https://njersy.co/3hHE5f7 
Q&A with James: 

https://njersy.co/3Kik4Z9 
Video of James: 

https://njersy.co/3hHE5f7 
Video of Galen: 

https://njersy.co/3Cbj9ql   

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Journalist Gene Myers and photographer Richard Burkhart captured the essence of life with Severe ME/CFS in early 2022.

Interview with James on NorthJersey.com

Interview with Galen on NorthJersey.com

MUSIC
by JAMES STRAZZA

Below friends perform a song James wrote when he was too ill to play or sing.

JS Music

POETRY by JAMES STRAZZA

Because James was too sick to read them, fans made their own videos reading their favorite poems from Lyrical. Go here to see three of them.

Below is one of the poems from his book.

Spoon Fed

 

i’m still being spoon-fed

but your hair looks great

can’t sit up—i’m half dead

but your body is an 8

can’t wipe my own ass

as a grown man

but damn

you got a perfect tan.

 

i may never walk again

but girl, those shoes

i thought we were friends

but you’ve been in the news

i can barely roll over

but i love your range rover.

 

maybe we can be friends again

if i guarantee

not to spread my disease

all over your prestige

Instagram feed.

from Lyrical

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ART by JAMES STRAZZA

This piece is called Depression. James works in a variety of styles. This is his most expressive. See more of his artwork and purchase stretched canvas prints at Shell-Point.com.

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