Skip to content

Dear 23

Dear 23 Released August 1990
Label DGC
Produced/Mixed John Leckie for Dodgy Productions (April 26-May 11 at the Enterprise, Burbank, California)
Co-produced The Posies
Engineer John Leckie with additional engineering from Jon Auer
Mixing Assistant Fred Kelly with help and sweat from Jon Auer
Recorded March 17-April 21 at Crow Recordings, Seattle, Washington. Additional overdubs May 3 and 10 at the Enterpise.
Mastering Stephen Marcussen at Precision Lacquer, LA, California

Executive mastermind super-demigod head coordinator & record company guy: Mr. Gary Gersh

Art direction: Dennis White
Art assistant: Emily Hammack
Cover photos: Karen Moskowitz
Insert photos: Yvonne Levay
Set design: Carl Smool & Dennis White
Cover concept: Rick Roberts
Typography: Jerry Hammack, Grant Alden & Edythe Vassall
Furnishings: The Charles Garish Collection

01. My Big Mouth
02. Golden Blunders
03. Apology
04. Any Other Way
05. You Avoid Parties
06. Suddenly Mary
07. You Avoid Parties
08. Mrs. Green
09. Everyone Moves Away
10. Flood of Sunshine

My Big Mouth

The lines across your face are drawn with hate
Cause I’m drawn to someone else
(Looks like you could use a little sleep)
I had some I didn’t mention
You caught me coming late (framed by the door)
Onto a floor that’s freshly waxed
And hides my tracks and raises
Some important questions

I ask you to be nice – it has no effect
And I suspect that you suspect
But didn’t I say feelings are the last things to make themselves felt?

Don’t make me explain myself – you don’t need to know
What’s going on in my big head right now
It could appear that I should have a statement prepared, but
Don’t make me open my big mouth

The words come quickly I feel sick
I use that for an excuse to exit
Looks like you don’t buy it
And I’m trying your patience
But what I leave unsaid sticks in my head
The guilt puts me in a spotlight
Looks like I might reveal
You’re not my sole engagement

I ask you to shut up – it’s as I didn’t
Know myself I wish you didn’t
Know that I can’t turn back, but I didn’t plan to tell you that

Don’t make me explain myself – you don’t need to know
What’s going on in my big head right now
It could appear that I could want to defend me, but
Don’t make me open my big mouth

You tell me to get out – I can’t get out of it
And I wish that we both could split
But splitting doesn’t mean the end of the backlash that I couldn’t defend

Don’t make me explain myself – you wouldn’t like what you find
Inside my, inside my big head
It could appear that I would want to reassure your doubts
Don’t make me open my big mouth

Don’t make me, don’t make me,
Don’t make me, don’t make me,
Don’t make me open my big mouth

Golden Blunders

Golden blunders come in pairs, they’re very unaware
What they know is what they’ve seen
Education wasn’t fun, but now that school is done
Higher learning’s just begun

You’re gonna watch what you say for a long time
You’re gonna suffer the guilt forever
You’re gonna get in the way at the wrong time
You’re gonna mess up things you thought you would never

Disappointment breeds contempt, it make you feel inept
Never thought you’d feel alone (at home)
His and hers forever more, throw your freedom out of the door
Before you find out what it’s for

You’re gonna watch what you say for a long time
You’re gonna suffer the guilt forever
You’re gonna get in the way at the wrong time
You’re gonna mess up things you thought you would never

Four weeks seemed like a long time then – but nine months is longer now
But even if you never speak again – you’ve already made the wedding vow

You’re gonna watch what you say for a long time
You’re gonna suffer the guilt forever
You’re gonna get in the way at the wrong time
You’re gonna mess up things you thought you would never

Honeymoons will never start, bonds will blow apart
Just as fast as they were made
Men and women please beware : don’t pretend you care
Nothing lasts when nothing’s there

You’re gonna watch what you say for a long time
You’re gonna suffer the guilt forever
You’re gonna get in the way at the wrong time
You’re gonna mess up things you thought you would never

[download guitar tabs]

Apology

And I asked again:
“Would it be all right for me to acquire someone else’s disenchantment?”
I could reconnect to another time and place
Reconsider letting loose and running rampant

Take me back – teach me
Take me back – Apology
I never meant to be and I won’t take much with me

Just an open mind and a second nature
Don’t forget you might just drink the water
If it illustrates the nonesuch nomenclature

So push the button ring the bell
Behold your tongue it’s served you well
Enough to bring you here, won’t you please…

Take me back – teach me
Take me back – Apology
I never meant to be and I won’t take much with me

If we fall to touch there will be no backlogged time
You can make believe it (like a bunch of postcards)
And the stones will read in a modest fashion:
“Don’t expect too much – you might be disappointed…”

[download guitar tabs]

Any Other Way

She dropped my hand and said, “I will go no further”
I dropped my head and hid my tears with laughter
(You know that) life’s never been a great mystery to me
It begins, then crawls slowly to the end
And I’ve no problems if you wish to join my views
Just add your name to the list of superficial friends

It (funny how these things work)
All seemed like it was too good to be true
It (funny now it’s always your fault)
Was and soon it came time to play my dues
So came the day when she had had enough
She kept home and I wasn’t asked to stay
She said, “you don’t have to blame yourself, you know”

But I wouldn’t have it any other way
I wouldn’t have it any other way

Don’t feed the hand that bites you
Just learn to starve
Don’t fight for change in your time
Just swallow your depression
And say you’re happy that it’s rotten out today

And who wouldn’t have it any other way
No, you wouldn’t have it any other way

She left me alone, claiming we’d run out of things to fight about
I was crushed of course, but at least I’ve something I can write about
I guess I’m just some kind of malcontent
Who gets paid for having nothing good to say
And even though it doesn’t pay the rent

You know I wouldn’t have it any other way
I wouldn’t have it any other way
I wouldn’t have it any other way
I wouldn’t have it any other way
I wouldn’t have it any other way

You Avoid Parties

Isn’t it nice how things resolve
To test your will would take the skill of crazy ants
You fit your mind into smaller and smaller jars
You find them clutching the last straw
As if it’s worth the worse for wear and tear you look
But why try to understand someone that you don’t even know
Even though he brought you up, beat you up,
Shut you up when you cried

And now you avoid parties
Because they remind you
Of someone who you used to know
Pretty soon you’ll want to avoid yourself

A popular phrase from the same year
Would draw no tears save for the fears of looking back
You find you hide for weaker and weaker reasons
The battle you lost in the mirror
Earned you no thanks but wooden planks were soon withdrawn
And you couldn’t run away even if you tried
And you tried and you cried ’cause you knew that laying flat
In your parents’ car
And now you avoid father

Because they remind you
Of someone who you used to know
Pretty soon you’ll want to avoid your own

And now you’re finally on your own
You draw your choices from the voices you despise
You find you’re drawn to tighter and tighter circles
Flashbacks, flashes forward
You are insane though you have gained such wide appeal
And all the car rides, cheap insides, laughter at the right people
At the right time at the right line in the right frame of mind

And now you avoid thinking
Because it reminds you of someone you used to know
Pretty soon you’ll only think about yourself

Suddenly Mary

Suddenly Mary fell in the water
Were not I weary I would have caught her
I watched for a moment and scrambled in after
Words of disownment were drowned out with laughter

I awoke from a peaceful sleep and found my clothes under the table
Aesop used to make me weep but now I’m part of Mary’s fable

Suddenly Mary fell in the water
I found myself married to somebody’s daughter
“Loving,” she told me
“Is a question of bravery”
But when she started to hold me
It was closer to slavery
I got up for a bite to eat and found my clothes inside the icebox
I used to stand on my own to feet but now I sit when my new wife talks

Suddenly Mary fell in the water
She floated away with the ring that I bought her
She had convinced me that I was a failure
I burned all my clothing and found a new tailor

Suddenly Mary
Suddenly Mary
Suddenly Mary
Suddenly Mary’s fine
Suddenly Mary’s fine
Suddenly Mary’s fine
Suddenly Mary’s fine

Help Yourself

When we met we still had innocence
And we did things ’cause they made sense
Without trying hard I made it final
And we conceived our children on backseat vinyl
Though we didn’t have a lot
But one was quickly bought
Then we buit upon this ground something we thought was sound
But in reality was silence

I can’t tell you why it all breaks down
And please don’t ask me why I’m no longer around
I only picked up your story knowing you were lying
Don’t ask me for advice
You’ll have to learn to help yourself

When I look back now I plainly see
The misery I’m sure you don’t agree
And all the products of those peaceful years
The broken plates and glasses and the shouting hurt my ears
Sometimes I wish I was asleep
And you were just another sheep
And when we finally fell apart
You were left holding the cart
Though you thought I’d said I’d push it

I can’t tell you why it all breaks down
And please don’t ask me why I’m no longer around
I keep dropping those hints but they never touched the ground
I’m useless to you now
You’ll have to learn yourself to help yourself

I had never planned on this being so complicated
You had never planned on us being so separated
The spiteful words will heal with time
Eventually they rhyme
You can forget but not forgive the fact that I still live
And never wanted you to give… in

I can’t tell you why it all breaks down
And please don’t ask me why I’m no longer around
You weren’t satisfied I was only superhuman
Don’t ask me for advice
You’ll have to learn to help yourself

I can’t tell you why it all breaks down
And please don’t ask me why I’m no longer around
Well I could only stand sitting here so long
You don’t need my help
You’ll have to learn to help yourself

Mrs. Green

Miserable Mrs. Green sit by yourself and think awhile
Of all that once could have been instead of what is now
How does it even feel, you’re no longer Madame Butterfly
Yesterday operas have quickly passed you by

Mrs. Green, you’re older but you’re really no more clever
Things that you were thinking I am thinking I will never think at all

Volumes of photographs held in your Einsenhower hands
Newer world intellect could never understand
You tore yourself apart all for the neighborhood and kids
And never forgave yourself for acting as you did

Mrs. Green, you’re older but you’re really no more clever
Things that you were thinking I am thinking I will never think at all

Where is your family and why did they lock you up inside
And what will they talk about after you have died
Who scared the birds away by lining the nest with demands
And using the iron first but not a helping hand

Mrs. Green, you’re older but you’re really no more clever
Things that you were thinking I am thinking I will never think at all

Mrs. Green I know you’re not as happy as you can be
As you watch my new leaf turn, you’re turning green with envy over me

[download guitar tabs]

Everyone Moves Away

Please forgive, for they know not what they’ve done
And if they did, they’de surely resurrect their trust
Promises were made to break and the family kept its end
And now your answer, my friend,
Is blowing in one head and out the other

But you will find yourself
You will recognize and realize
Even when you can’t forget
The times they tried you, things denied you, inside the big nameless house
From which everyone moves away, everyone moves away

Growing up in severed states of mind
Can cause you to to blind more than twice
And now we’re hurt by the words we’ve never said
The wounds you never bled
Just aggravate your head until they’ve gone

But you will like yourself
You will verify and vocalize
Even when you can’t forget
That when you stayed you, they betrayed you, inside the big nameless house
From which everyone moves away, everyone moves away

Try to wipe away the traces of people, places, childhood spaces
Etched upon your memory, like the way that we were raised
In our backyard we were left no time to think
The blood that turned to ink splelled neglect
Now there’s no sun and the grass is overgrown
The sacred seed they’ve sown is utterly alone and scared to death

But you will free yourself
You will cut the cord and cauterize
And if you ever feel an urge
To look behind you, let this remind you
We both grew up in the same house
From which everyone moves away, everyone moves away
Everyone moves, everyone moves
Everyone moves away

[download guitar tabs]

Flood of Sunshine

We could drown ourselves in a flood of sunshine
We could walk all night still I’d see sunshine
It’s the calling of your name
All sounds combine into the same and I hear you

When it’s overcast and I’m not there will you still…
When the clouds have passed and I return will you still…
Your eyes are crying and your lips are moist

Where are all my kingdoms and cathedrals?
(To ruin)
They crumbled just like sand in front of us

Like ripples on the water your hands reached out to me
And all the things they taught us floated out to sea
We could drown ourselves in a flood of sunshine
We could walk all night still I’d see sunshine

[download guitar tabs]