H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






My Fatty Liver


is caused by Hepatitis C.        I got virus

in blood from blood - probably I.V. drugs

pumped in late 70's, early 80's NYC boho

Alphabet City with poet buddies.


My fatty liver has a viral load over 2 million

and that is a lot of anything

to have in even this small body, aging now

more quickly than I pretended it could.

My fatty liver is Home of Irritation.

My irritation is Greek known, is China known

caused by Liver Stagnation (East) and Drugs/Booze (West)

My irritation causes pain as I gripe

& complain way around Paradise, criticize

kind Wife for her “mistakes” in driving, cooking, planning -

even the way she walks grounds for irritable comment.

Former love Jill said I was “high strung”

I seemed to skate by Life's annoyances.

But Wife now target of Fatty Liver's Revenge!

My fatty liver is Mean, is home of Virus Demons,

2 million strong, who shout angry now that

the gig is up” and my decision to take Interferon/Ribaviran

is starting to toll there, in Hepatic DMZ.

The anti-viral is working!

My hundred healing mantras every morning are working!

Wife's better diet for me, working

My sweet Buddhist Teacher's Healing Amulet works -

I place it on right side, under ribs while visualizing healing light

entering The Palace of Flesh called body

an offering of peace to the angry 2 million

an offering to all those who suffer from Hep C

whose livers march into gray cirrhosis

like the very world of Evil no sun Middle Earth.


Yes, my fatty liver's getting a lot of attention

my Lama prays for my health

acupuncturists needle & herb me

doctors (3 so far) push on my abdomen

examine blood work results, flip biopsy slides

on microscope & nod their heads: “hmmm, yes,

your liver is fatty alright... Take the Chemotherapy for 6 months

or maybe a year. Clear the virus and repair the damage

with healthy diet and exercise.”


so... no more fried foods — Gone southern style chicken

no more rich sauces

no more buttered popcorn or toast or bread

or corn cobs slathered - butter the hardest to go, boo-hoo!

Gone 1/2 & 1/2 in coffee, gone coffee too now, 6 months gone

I drink some black tea in the morning.

Gone sugary sweet treats after meals, ice cream or sorbet, licorice,

hard candy, cakes, pie, cookies, chocolate, even cereal.

Gone days of eating whatever whenever

No more buying prepared foods

without reading labels: “Fat = 0 grams

Sugar = 0 grams”

I multiply “avg. serving size” x # of ozs. to figure the % of

sugar and fat and discard most of what went in shopping cart.


My Fatty Liver celebrates by making me even more

irritated . I like “comfort foods” - I like sugar

like I did ol' King Alcohol - & I was a merry old Soul too

until this Palace filled up with Virus & became

home of the fatty liver, & my irritation grew & grew

I lost first wife 'cause I was angry &

punished” her w/ more drugs & drinking & other women.


Oh, my fatty liver was happy then!

The Virus Demon hid and grew but cut a deal:

 no more booze/drugs & you can pretend you're ok -

but we'll hide out & when you're confronted with

Hope & Fear, we'll take Fear every time!”


And so I spent 8 years therapy, working w/ Anger

Working on Esteem

Working to Open Up

and my Fatty Liver Demons laughed each time I found

a way around them

Oh they bide, they dwell, they wait to pounce

their 2 million strong voices of a sudden leap into Mean Words

- take delight in disappointment, knowing how

lack of comfort and sex or “bad” food will make my irritation rise

hydra headed, swelling venom sacs, spitting invective & bitter

masturbation drains of energy & grief so that I retreat

drift into a haze of day dream & angst

crave the foods I love, crave drugs and alcohol again

first time 15 years sober

I begin to think I could get away with it - anything to get out

of this fuckin fucked up Body!

Tired of the struggle already!

Tired of new wife already!

Tired of being tired so am meditating more than ever

which is calming my irritation

and I have less libido due to chemo

which is making Wife happy

and I have daily writing practice

which is getting things done

and I will skin-pop the 5 mgs of the

Interferon tonight, take the 1000 mgs of Ribaviran knowing

that they too, the very Cure Itself, doth maketh me irritated

resign myself to that

drink lots of water to keep cool

and promise to take a long walk to where the Mountain

opens up to the Sea

soon as I finish




[Originally published in NHS 2003, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs03/marti.html.]