Naked Despair

by t.k. bollinger

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about

These songs are some of the choice pieces I composed over the southern winter 2013. While these tunes will be further developed with my backing project That Sinking Feeling, I wanted to get an idea of how they sounded as self performed acoustic arrangements. I was so impressed with the result that I felt it would be selfish not to share them.

The main lyrical inspiration came from my reflections on the machinations of abuse in personal relationships. Abuse is not only of the ugly publicised variety i.e. physical violence, but also has a more common, and insidious form – the subtle put downs we pass on flippantly; the unconscious neglect we perpetrate by filling our days with our own plans and neglecting the needs of our children or partners; the bullying we endure or dish out directing our will upon others, forgetting that we all are thinking, feeling and highly evolved personalities. This is the toxic shit that wears us down over many years into a state of indifference and emotional constipation.

That being said, these songs are not maudlin, but seek to celebrate survival of the trials of abuse and neglect that everyone endures over the course of their lives and at various levels of fuckedupness. What makes us spectacularly human is our ability to learn, to forgive and to move on; to strip ourselves down, become naked in despair, and then reclothe ourselves as another, hopefully stronger, self.

The voice and guitar were recorded live to tape, with no overdubs, on the 12th of November 2013. Melodica and backing vocals were added over the following weeks.

Thanks for listening.

credits

released December 1, 2013

t.k. bollinger – Guitar, voice, melodica

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t.k. bollinger Melbourne, Australia

A connoisseur of dark moods and plaintive melodies, t.k. bollinger is an explorer on the road less travelled. His musical children are songs of contrite and emotionally challenged characters confessing their darkest fears and tortured realisations.
They speak of the usual things – love, abuse, neglect and the small triumphs and tiny truths that gleen in our day to day growth and survival.
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Track Name: Indifference
I have trained myself with the best of excuses
To explain away the shit I have to take.
No there’s nothing as convenient as indifference
To help me justify the ways that I connive with denial.

It’s hard to sometimes justify
The cards I choose to play in life.
And I forget it’s the greatest disrespect of all
To be ungrateful for what I’ve got.

I tend to depend on all the things I find easy
To defend and I send the hard choices away.
I tell myself if I take them on it will bring only pain.
I convince myself the only way is for things to stay the same.

I can’t explain is it just a first world kind of complaint
To feel ungrateful for what I’ve got.

Can you blame me there are so many battles to choose from.
We must draw the blinds on other’s pain sometimes.
But there’s nothing as convenient as indifference
To help me justify the ways that I connive with denial.
Track Name: Song to My Imaginary Jilted Lover
Where do I get off
Berating the desires
Of people that I come across
And do not know?
What does this anger show
About me and my own
fragility?

I know I bring you down
And I can’t bear
To see you standing there
On the same ground as me.
I know you want to fly –
Fly away and not come back again.
But that would break me,
Shatter,
Unmake me.
You won’t complete me
But you help this fractured fiction remain
Contained.

Will we ever know
The sweet contentment
The end of doubt
That every love song seems to crow about.
Not this resentment.
Like mold on grout devouring love’s certainty.

You know this brings me down
And I can’t bear
To see you standing there
In this dark pit with me.
You know I need to fly –
Fly away and not come back again.
I need to break this,
Shatter,
Unmake this,
And face the darkness
that this fractured fiction contains
And drain
The bitterness.
Track Name: Obituary for a Once Stagnant Fear
The ties that bind me,
We once spoke in chorus.
Now they remind me,
That our hearts they stay porous.
Let me go.
I can no longer believe you.
Let me go, let me go.
Your anger never will leave you.

That’s why you’ve found me
With a hope that is broken.
I can’t correct this one glaring defect
Or risk my life for a token.
Let me go.
I can no longer stay silent.
Let me go, let me go.
I’ve had enough of this violence.

I’ll leave you to your game, sit here with the shame,
Because I don’t want to play no more.
You’ll have to take the blame one day
When you can’t runaway no more.

What still astounds me,
It’s possible to live with this.
A defect I can only correct
With the miracle of forgiveness.
Let me go.
Fear will only preserve this.
Let me go, let me go.
I don’t believe I deserve this.

I’ll leave you to your game, sit here with my shame,
Because I won’t take the blame no more.
You’ll have to face the same one day
When you can’t runaway no more.
I’ll leave you to your game, sit here with the shame,
Because I don’t want to play no more.
You’ll have to take the blame one day
When you can’t runaway no more.
Track Name: Naivety
As I grow older and put on rust
There are not many that I would trust
I make my meaning from day to day
Hoping that no one will find out the games that I play.

To burst this bubble that keeps me blind
I must see my troubles are in my mind
Here at the bottom cleaning up the mess
I cling to the mind frame that I am still totally blessed.

This is one of those times that I know I must stare at the sun
Naked stripped to the bone with the beauty, the horror of all that I’ve done.

Sad but it’s true very few want to see we’d rather hide in our naivety.
When shit hits the shoe you can choose to leave or take responsibility.

While I am breathing I hope that I
Don’t find a reason to change my mind
While there are troubles there’s also hope
The miracle of the smile of a stranger can help me to cope.

There will always be times when I know I must stare at the sun
Naked stripped to the bone with the beauty, the horror of all that I’ve done.

Sad but it’s true very few want to see we’d rather hide in our naivety.
When shit hits the shoe you can choose to leave or take responsibility.
Track Name: The Slimest of Hopes
With all the drink gone
In the melt of cheer.
That’s when it came on
The rising tide of fear.

I kept my head down
When he called my name
Songs of hope, songs of pride
Touched my lips, then they died
Washed away by tears of shame
By tears of shame.

It was too much for me to feel
It was too much for me to feel hope for one second
It was too much for me to feel.

I had a hold on
The slimmest of hopes
But when he came on
I just couldn’t cope

I kept my head down
When he reached for me
Songs of hope, songs of pride
Touched my lips, then they died
Washed away by blood and tears
By blood and tears

It was too much for me to feel
It was too much for me to feel hope for one second
It was too much for me to feel.
Track Name: Exorcism of an Unworthy Ghost
While I despise you I won’t let you get to me.
Every shot you’ve fired and forgot left its mark.
Tears another hole inside my heart
And those lesions they add up.
You leave all bloated and puffed up feeling tough.

If there is an upside to this connection,
All the trauma that you fed to me made me see.
Every hole you left inside my heart is a mark of pride.
I know that I’m the one that’s tough I survived.

One thing I know that you’ve taught to me
I ain’t no piss weak bully.
One thing I don’t ever want to be
Is another piss weak bully.

Anger can save you. It can also betray you.
Like a junky needing to dose up there’s a cost.
It tears another hole inside your heart
As resentment adds up.
Before you know you’ve grown your own emotional thug.

I hope that time grants me this one small concession
To rid myself of all the hate I feel towards you.
I couldn’t bear to know that I and that ugly pride
Could make another cold inside and pass on this lie.

One thing I know I never want to be
Is another piss weak bully.
That’s why I won’t let you get to me
I won’t be no piss weak bully.
Track Name: Words of Advice from a Wayward Father
Is it my place to tell you these failings that I have
That I hold inside me and I see in you as well?
A father’s hand can be safe but rough.
And a father’s command may never know when to say enough is enough.
I may be the first to break your heart
Like I was the first to hold you when it all fell apart.

I want to say that tomorrow won’t be just like today.
Everybody has to make their own mistakes.
Don’t be like me, too proud to build upon the ashes of the bridges
You burn down.

It’s not my place to tell you to believe in me or care
Since I’ve placed in your heart a weight you shouldn’t have to bear.
A father’s love should not wane or bend,
But a father’s pride can eat away inside and eclipse the good love intends.
Yes I damned myself because I broke your heart,
But I never sought to drag you through this hell and damn you too when it all fell apart.

I hope and pray that tomorrow won’t feel just like today.
Everybody has to make their own mistakes.
Don’t be like me, too proud to build upon the ashes of the bridges
You burn down. I hope you learn how
To forgive your old man.
Track Name: Intelligent Design
When I was a younger man
I thought that life held answers.
That I was the part of some great plan,
In step with other holy dancers.

Now I am an older man
And the only plan that I see
Is the one that lies in my own schemes
Or the pulse of other desiring machines.

One thing that I see clear
Sometimes we hurt what we most hold dear.
Look for the logic but I just can’t find
Your intelligent design.
Design

Sometimes we all need a
scapegoat to believe the shit that people do.
Sometimes there’s no reason
that you can perceive in what you’re going through.

But that’s no reason to deny your
That’s no reason to defer your responsibility.

We must go down many roads
Before we reach our destination
One thing I know that there’s no GPS
That will guide you through every situation

I’m not saying don’t believe
If you think you’ve found the answer.
Just don’t try and sell it to me.
One size fits all is the way of cancer.

There are things that I hear
From ones who claim to hold you dear
That bear no logic sense or rhyme or
Intelligent design.
Design

Sometimes we all need a
scapegoat to believe the shit that people do.
Sometimes there’s no reason
that you can perceive in what you’re going through.

But that’s no reason to deny your
That’s no reason to defer your
But that’s no reason to deny your
That’s no reason to defer your responsibility.
Track Name: This Sinking Feeling
I know this shit’s hard
Living with me’s putting in the hard yards.
I’ve got it good it’s plain to see
In fact, how much better can it be.

I’m trying to pull my weight
If you want the truth, sometimes that’s too great.
If love could change me, it would have by now.
I can see the what, but I don’t know the how.

I’m staring down my demons
To make this thing work,
But they’re cold and cruel
And they try to fool
Me not into believing you.

I’m staring down my demons
To make this thing work
But I need you
To remind me to
Carry on believing you.

Everything I do I feel is no good
If I’d only act more like I should.
When everything you care about is hard to conceive
You need a lot of help to hold that belief.

Every night I try to talk it through
But there’s something missing in me –
How to conquer this sinking feeling –
How to get it through, what matters to me.

If I knew how, to reach past this darkness I’d do it now
But I can’t choose,
There’s dark in me and in you we only can accept it’s true
If I knew how, to reach past this pain I’d do it now
But I can’t choose,
There’s dark in me and in you we never can run from this truth.