S2 E5 | Melancholy Baby Pt. 2

The Wise Guys discuss their performance of “Melancholy Baby” by Danny Klein, the loss of libido and, with it, sexual identity.

Meet the Five Wise Guys and hear what they’ve got on their minds — actors, writers, storytellers all — as they kibbitz about life in The Third Act. Five Wise Guys is the Project’s first TV show and features writer and TAP co-founder Sam Bittman; actor Jeff Kent; bookman and storyteller Matthew Tannenbaum; author and playwright Daniel Klein; and actor Bob Lohbauer as they ruminate on the realities of later life.

View all past episodes on the Five Wise Guys YouTube channel here.

“At the Driveway Guitar Sale” & “Afternoon Lovemaking”

In both pieces in this podcast, the poet reminds himself that what remains to him in life is powerful, rich and fulfilling.

At the Driveway Guitar Sales

At the driveway guitar sale
I watch old men
Heft various 60’s electrics
And strike surly-lead-guitarist poses
That would surely embarrass
Their grandchildren
They play snatches of Light My Fire and
Riders on the Storm 
To accompany the Jim Morrisons
Singing in their heads
And I can see the faded blaze
Of their rock and roll dreams
In their eyes
And the language of their
Heavy slightly stooped bodies
That says those doors are closed

It is much the same at car shows
Where old men display
The hot rods and T-Birds
And souped-up Bel Airs
That drove them nearly mad with longing
When they were young
And even though the cars
Of their hearts’ desires
Now park in their suburban garages
I can sense a faint echo of disappointment
Reverberating in the hearts that beat
Beneath their Harley-Davidson t-shirts:
But I’m not 16

And me?
When this old man was young
He wanted badly to be a poet
To smoke Gauloises
To drink Wild Turkey
To swim the Hellespont
And utter seismic profundities
In casual conversation and
Oh yes
To write stirring poems
And declaim them to a waiting world . . .
Which didn’t exactly work out
And although he does still wonder from time to time
What it would have been like
To be a young writer of great promise
He is content these days to strum his ukulele
To drive his battered old Toyota
To pen verses that might occasionally
Lay a patch of rubber, ignite a little flame

Afternoon Lovemaking 

We lie side by side
Dozing under the white comforter
In our white room
My hand resting on her belly
Hers on mine
To make certain
We do not float away
Into the sunlight
Streaming in through the window,
Which is our primary work these days
Of our eighth decade,
Holding fast,
Keeping each other here.