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    Over….thirty years ago

    I found myself a tribe

    At a college outside of Philly

    That had an Augustinian vibe


    Corr Hall, t’was the incubus

    A dorm, just for Freshman men

    The bonds were formed, tight as fuck

    It’s been one wild ride since then


    Sophomore year, most of us lived

    In Sullivan Third Floor West

    Those who didn’t, just came on by

    Always giving us their mayhemic best


    Our dorm wing, oh baby did it reek

    Of beer, of pizza, of pussy, of dope

    The Boys Were Back In Town you know

    And mama, we pushed the envelope


    Third Floor West was a bastion of testosterone

    A seething cauldron of Mayhem, Noise, and Madness

    I played my drums at 2 AM

    Fuck ‘Em if they wanted to rest


    We partied, we laughed, we were very naughty boys

    We even formed a band

    The Albino Skunks, my brainchild

    The Best Band In The Land


    Skullduggery! Debauchery! Tomfoolery! Outlandishness! 

    That was our stock in trade

    But we were all so genuine and lovable

    Man, we had it made


    Mole, Murph, Charlie, Harry, Hawk

    Coons, Billy Bud, Mike, Cage, DoucheMan, Prep

    Bobby, Timmy, SuperFly, Triple Jay, Andy

    Who did I forget?


    The next two years, The Skunk House was the epicenter

    A Total Dive of ill repute, scandal, and fun

    We defaced her walls, nearly burnt her down, 

    Billy Bud painted giant murals to the envy of everyone


    Today, years later, my life’s sweetest sugar

    Is that we still make time for each other

    The dance we do

    Can not be described

    By any other word but “Brother”


    In every group 

    There has to be

    A romantic, a poet, a soul

    One who will always say The Unsaid

    To help us ROCK AND ROLL


    “I Love You KnuckleHeads With Every Fucking Fiber of My Heart.”


         - SuperFly Clint

            March 15, 2018


    ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publiahing. All rights reserved.



    When we set and hold an intention, perform the inner and outer work necessary, then get the hell out of the way and let the universe do its thing, it’s amazing how circumstances and events conspire to open doors where before there were only windows. Or even walls.  

    Back in July of last year, I decided I wanted a tattoo. I had thought about it before, but this was the first time I set the intention. That simple but deliberate act set into motion a series of events that have taken me to the last step on this particular journey..

    When I set the intention, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted tattooed on my body. The very idea of having such a permanent mark on my body, my temple, for the rest of my life was one of things that kept me from committing to it. I don’t know what shifted in me. But I do recall taking a long walk through Westwood, California one night, listening to the song “Hypnotized” by Fleetwood Mac, over and over again. I reflected on the past nine months of my life, most of which I had spent in treatment facilities for depression, anxiety, and trauma.

    It had been one painful, exhilarating, tumultuous, exciting motherfucker of a ride. I recall becoming very emotional. My eyes welled up, goosebumps formed on my flesh, and I had to stop several times to cry. I was as raw as fresh meat.

    My nickname, “SuperFly”, has always felt like an appropriate alias. I got the moniker in college, primarily because my favorite pro wrestler was Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. And, during those crazy days, I had a penchant for spontaneously leaping off of elevated objects and crashing down on people (Superfly’s signature move). My college chums still call me that (often shortening it to just “Fly”). I like calling myself SuperFly. The name fits me like a glove.

    And the word “Fire” kept popping up in my stream of consciousness. I had walked on fire; I had walked through fire, for the past three-quarters of a year. I felt a fire within me. I felt some combination of “SuperFly” and “Fire” might work. Maybe with a design that I came up with as well; something that symbolized The SuperFly Fire.

    I had planned to get the ink done in California before I left last August. But the tattoo shop I went to did not impress me. And the artist I talked to there impressed me even less. There was no way I was gonna let anyplace or anybody I didn’t get a great vibe from come within twenty feet of my body with a rapidly pulsating needle full of permanent ink, forever marking my temple. So after that less than satisfactory experience, I tabled the idea, and more or less forgot about it. But the intention had already been set. It just wasn’t going to happen on my time table.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I checked into a Marriott hotel in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. Virtually directly across the hotel, I spotted a shop called Superfly Tattoo. Lights, whistles, bells, screaming guitar chords, and massive drum grooves went off in my head and heart. “Eureka!” I expounded. “That’s it. A sign from the universe.” The time is right. Now, I had to decide exactly what to get.

    At my last treatment center, I was exposed to the Tao symbol for fire, one of the five basic elements in Taoist philosophy. I determined that I am most associated with the fire type personality. The fire type is The Lover: Creative, expressive, fun loving, and easily distracted by beauty and joy. Sure as shit sounds like me. It’s a cool little symbol, a poignant spiritual talisman that speaks to me. 

    I did some research on it. According to Susan Levitt in an article she wrote for The Feng Shui Journal; “Fire personality traits are love, passion, leadership, spirituality, insight, intuition, aggression, reason, and expressiveness. The fire personality is right out front. A fire type succeeds by becoming warm hearted and generous. Experiences of love, compassion, fun, joy, and pleasure are healing for fire individuals.” Man, can I relate to that.

    She continues; “When fire expresses it’s most masculine yang energy, it’s color is red. When fire expresses feminine yin energy, it’s color is purple.” As a kid, red was my favorite color. As an adult, I painted my house purple. ‘Nuff said.

    Not only did all of this hit home, but it reminded me, as I stood there staring at the tattoo shop, that “Fire” had been one of my original ideas back in August. Now, I had a symbol that powerfully expressed that, on multiple levels. It felt right. In my heart. In my gut. In my bones.

    At first, that was gonna be it. The Taoist symbol for fire. But then I recalled that my nickname “SuperFly” had also been with me when I set my intention. And that was the name of the tattoo shop. A powerful synergy had been created. The energy circle had been completed. And I had no doubt what I wanted permanently inked on my body, my temple. 

    Finally, I was ready. The universe and I co-created this cascade of circumstances and events that lead me right to my destination. 


     ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.




    Game On


    Watching the last Super Bowl, with my beloved Patriots down by a whopping twenty-five points, mid-way through the third quarter, I remember checking in with myself. I asked myself "Why haven't you given up?". I couldn't answer that question. I couldn't answer "why". So, I asked myself a question I could answer. I asked myself "Have you given up?". No. No, I hadn't. 

    In that moment, I knew something I couldn't articulate; but not being able to articulate it didn't diminish the power of it's conviction. The whole experience was quite familiar to me. As a child, I was often aware of things I could not articulate. I was an incredibly sensitive, aware, emotional, astute, deep feeling, deep thinking, little fucker. I felt like I was picking up 100 channels while all of my peers were picking up less than ten. I constantly experienced and felt so much that was far beyond my capability to describe, and it frustrated the fuck out of me. Sometimes, I still feel that way today. As an adult, I've gotten better at managing it. Not always. Just sometimes.

    Watching the Patriots get dismantled in the last Super Bowl, I was aware of an inner belief, that, fuck me running, I could not describe. I just sure as shit knew it was there. And I sure as shit knew I had to hold onto it. Don't ask me why. I don't have a clue. Nor do I care. When you know something that deep; in your bones, in your cells, in your molecules, in your atoms, in your quarks; when you know it there, you are willing to bet your entire experience of life on it. Because, without your own very personal experience of life to call yours, what do you have? Nothing. Absolutely Shit Ass Nothing. So Life becomes worth that. Every time.

    Fast forward to my life today. For most of the past year, not long after The Super Bowl, in fact, I have been in treatment. For depression. For Anxiety. For Trauma. For the maladaptive behaviors that are a result of such afflictions. For addiction. I just relapsed, again, failed a piss test, and got discharged from my last facility.

    And yet, here I am. I have not given up. I know something inside of me that I can not explain, that I can not describe. Just like when I was a kid. Just like when I watched the last Super Bowl. Maybe it's as basic as survival. Maybe it's about rising up against something that is still trying to kill me. And I won't let it. Depression tried. Trauma tried. Addiction is trying. Hell, my own brother and sister tried to kill me emotionally when they sued me. They all failed. I'm still here. Fuck You.

    This whole experience must be positioned as fuel that propels my life. I will take all of the agony, all of the failure, all of the doubts, and questions, and sleepless nights, and desperation, and tears, and I will repurpose them for my own growth.

    I was a child of the suburbs. I have lived a very cushy, privileged life. Yet, I am in touch with my Inner Street Fighter. I've known him, I've felt him, often before. He's helped me survive. That's his job. He loves me up when he has too, and he kicks my ass when he needs to. He's been with me this whole trip.

    Game On.


     ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.


    Adventure Of A Lifetime 


    Ah, Music: Mystical. Evocative. Healing. Magical.

    2017 was a motherfucker. In music therapy the other day, each of us had to chose a song that somehow symbolized the past year. We then went around the room, announced our very personal choice, and that song was played while we all listened to it. The person who chose the song then talked a little bit about what the song meant to them and why they chose it. The experience proved incredibly powerful and moving.

    The choices were as varied as the people who chose them. Everything from "Float On" by Modest Mouse, to "So Far Away" by Staind, to "Change" by Tracy Chapman. And people chose them for different reasons. Some chose a song that represented the year as a whole. Some chose a song that defined their throes into addiction during a very rough period, while others chose music that has helped them move through their recovery. 

    I thought long and hard about what song I would pick. There were so many. I had a laundry list that felt relevant and poignant. And I could have gone in a million different directions.  

    I considered the song "Ship To Wreck" by Florence + The Machine, because it was a song that I answered with a vehement "No" as I listened to it on the night of my last birthday (see my post about it). I considered a song called "Wicked Soldier" by Tonic, an upbeat rocker that's on every workout playlist, because I felt like a soul warrior for most of the year, battling my inner demons. "Mean Street" by Van Halen, another all time favorite, also resonated with a resounding clang of the heart; for I had walked my own self induced Mean Street for enough of the year to know I do not wanna go back. I ping-ponged with these choices, until another song hit me between the eyes and felt like a hot needle in my heart. 

    "Adventure Of A Lifetime", by Coldplay.

    I haven't been able to listen to that song in almost half a year. That song was Our Song; Me and My Sweet Angel's. I had heard it for the first time just before we got together in April of 2016, and I immediately fell madly in love with it. It was instantly one of those precious and rare songs that strikes the harp of your heart and the cello of your soul, and you have no idea why, nor do you care; You just accept it as an is, and you roll with it. Our first weekend together, in New York City, we played the song together and realized we both loved it. We fell for that song about as quickly and powerfully as we fell for each other: Instant-Head-Over-Heels-Ass-Over-Tea-Kettle-Full-Blown-Double-Whooper-With- Extra-Cheese-Madly-In Love-With-Each-Other. Magic. Just like the song.

    I played that song when we weren't together to remind me of her, and it usually turned on my water works. I even sent her a video of me listening to that song and balling like a baby to it. That song was her to me. That song was us to me. It will always be her to me. It will always be us to me. A marriage of physical and meta-physical  form that defies words or explanation. It just Is. It just as sure as fuckin' shit, IS.

    Sitting in music therapy group at Zen Recovery the other day, surrounded by people I trust and love, going through so much of the same shit as I am, I felt to myself "This is the time to hear it again. This feels like the right moment. This is It." 

    So on it came. And on I sobbed, in front of a tribe I have I have only known for less than three weeks. 

    I didn't chose that song because I wanted it to mean something different. I chose it because I wanted the support to be able to listen to it, at all. I chose it because, in addition to it being Our Song, my life over the past year has been the Fuckin' Adventure Of A Lifetime. I've spent most of it in treatment, doing the hardest work I've ever done in my life. 

    It will never replace the meaning it has always held. It will just add to it. David Lee Roth once said "Everything I do in life is 'in addition to', not 'instead of' ". I connected so strongly with that quote, that I have attempted to live my life along those lines whenever possible. 

    I'm not going to to blasting that song anytime soon. I'm just grateful that I could find the love and support to listen to it, Period. I'm not looking to redefine it, because, I can't (nor do I want to), and that would dilute what that song means to me. I am, however, looking to recover, to heal, to connect more deeply to this tribe I'm with and to my process of recovery. Any and all means at my disposal are thus fodder for that healing, for that connection, and for my own growth.

    Whatever the fuck I'm doing these days, and whatever the fuck I'm doing for the rest of my life, I'm moving. I'll keep moving. Sometimes, so subtly, that I can't even see it, that I can't even feel it. But that doesn't mean something isn't happening.

    Like the rock that becomes a geode of glistening Amythyst; like the slab of limestone that becomes gorgeous marble; like the hunk of aluminum oxide that becomes a sapphire; and, just like it says in "Adventure Of A Lifetime", I'm a "diamond taking shape".



    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.


    Waking Up

    For years, I resisted doing yoga. Most of it had to do with my body being too tight, and my mind being too narrow when it came to the practice. Physically, even the most rudimentary postures were excruciatingly difficult for me. So no matter class I did, it was beyond challenging. My body felt like it was fighting me, every inch of the way. Mentally, same thing. My mind was resisting feeling so uncomfortable that I wanted to crawl out of myself. 

    But back in my first round of treatment, I overcame those blocks enough to begin a regular yoga practice. I became more accepting of the resistance, instead of resisting the resistance, and that made all the difference. My mind also became more accepting of resistance; not just in yoga, but in all the areas of my life. That physical, mental, and emotional shift continues to serve me when I'm conscious enough to engage it.

    Now, in round two of recovery, I've thrown myself deeper into the practice, committed myself to doing yoga five times a week, doing two different types of yoga, and doing two classes a day as often as possible. I discovered Yin yoga and it's improving my flexibility better than anything else I've ever done.

    Physical flexibility has always been a major impediment to my overall health and wellness. Part of it is genetic. All of my brothers and sisters struggle with it (we are all pretty tight); some, more than others, with me being at the top of the inflexibility totem pole. I'm also the most muscular one in the family, having consistently engaged in resistance training since I was fifteen. I'm a gym rat, and fiercely proud of it. I'm very at home in the weight room. It's like a second home, and I enjoy the process.

    My body, however, was out of balance. Worse, I've always felt like I had all this energy bottled up in my physical form that had trouble being accessed and released. At some point, my very own body appeared to be turning against me, and I began having soreness and pain, somewhere, almost all the time. That reality had something to do with my substance abuse too. I had always been able to count on my body. It was always my anchor when all else failed. Once my body started fighting me back, I got scared. Scared to death. So I became self-destructive. 

    Slowly, however, over the past few weeks, things have started loosing up within me. I attribute that to getting back to a healthy lifestyle, which includes Yin yoga, almost every day. I'm still one physically tight mofo, but I'm getting better. 

    This is all having an effect on my mental state, on my attitude towards life, as well. Just like working with weights made me feel better, made me feel healthier; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, yoga is doing the same thing for me. I'm still at the gym, five days a week, but now I'm counter acting the stiffness with regular Yin yoga. I'm even stretching on my own more now, something I did precious little of in the past.

    Yin yoga is all about softening the muscles. Not in the way I used to think of "soft", which was as in untoned and unshapely. Softer muscles, I've now discovered, can be just as aesthetically beautiful as "hard" muscles. But they function so much better. I'm tired of being "muscle bound". I want to be muscular. And I want to be flexible. For many years, I've seen those two as mutually exclusive.

    In addition, yoga that requires me to hold difficult poses and strain the muscles isometrically is proving very beneficial as well. I want to eventually be able to do a handstand, and other of the more difficult postures. I marvel at those yogis that can do such things with their bodies. My most recent ex-love is a yoga instructor, and inspired me more than she knows. She has an amazingly beautiful body. She is muscular, shapely, flexible, and supple. It's beautiful to see her and other accomplished yogis in those demanding postures. And It's gotta feel as good as it looks.

    This is not just a physical pursuit. All of this works on my mind, my heart, and my spirit as well. I want my heart strong and open. I want my mind sharp and focused and at peace. I want my spirit to feel connected to higher energies and frequencies. Through a combination of Yin yoga, Yang yoga (the more physically demanding type), and resistance training, I see all that as possible. I see it all as necessary. 

    Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and been adopted by countless cultures. Resistance training is relatively new, a response to modern lifestyles that are far more sedately than even just one-hundred years ago. A combination of both feels to me like a beautiful marriage ageless eastern wisdom and modern adaptation to a rapidly changing world.

    It feels like a process of awakening. 


    ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.