This eight-part poem presents the wisdom of home remedies. The first voice tells the sick person to drink the juice of half a lime each day. "No virus can stand up / to a lime." The second voice explains the toxic effects of electromagnetic waves. Another tells him to submerge himself in garlic. Still another says to "visualize little men / in white overalls / scrubbing the lesions / from your brain." With regard to diet, one home remedy advises abstinence from bread, vinegar, dairy products, bread, corn, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, vitamins, fruit, meat, fish, and fowl. In the end the only solution is to "embrace your illness . . . . "[133 lines]


Floyd Skloot developed chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) following a viral infection in December 1988. Among the most devastating symptoms of his illness were the subtle but pervasive neurological deficits. "Home Remedies," Brain Scan (see entry), and The Virus (see entry) deal with various aspects of the illness experience.

After "going public" as a CFS patient in essays and on radio, Skloot received tons of unsolicited advice from readers and listeners; "Home Remedies" summarizes this advice. On one level the poem speaks with tongue-in-cheek; at another, it reveals a truth deeper than words. See also The Night-Side, pp. 105-118 (in this database) for a delightful essay on the same experience.

Primary Source

Music Appreciation


Univ. Press of Florida

Place Published

Gainesville, Fla.