Author's Foreword

Writing and poetry
From the 1990's

by Richard Van Ingram

There's a buzzin' and a ringin' in my ear
And I wonder where do I go from here
The moments missed, the tickin' of time
I suppose this life is mine, all mine
I remember a time when my mind was clean and clear.
How do I undo the damage I've done?

"Damage I've Done"
The Heads with Johnette Napolitano

Well, another ten years passed and I filled up a few dozen notebooks with insanity, as usual, and some of it is actually interesting, if just as a study in dilettante-ism.

The 90's were a rough ride for me and that's reflected in the work you'll see here. But I gave as much hell as I got, so I'm sure it evens out in the end.

Anyway, the work in front of you is a cross-section of what I did in those years. As a cross-section, it includes the good, the bad, and the mediocre. The Compilers and I have decided to simply allow the reader to sort through the material as he wishes, as that's what the reader always does anyway.

So, enjoy. I hope you find the serious parts serious and the humorous parts humorous.

Richard Van Ingram


The 1990's began, for some, on a down note – a war that could easily have developed into a world-wide conflict, an economic situation that left many either with no job or with terrible ones in the service industry, a political situation where the choices were between charlatans and rogues.

All in all, the early 90's were unhappy times, especially for "Generation X-ers" who had discovered that everything they had desired or hoped for as children would have to be shelved in favor of cleaning up the messes of their parents. Little wonder that the latter 90's saw most everyone turn a blind eye to abuses of power and unfettered greed – so long as most people benefited economically. Drop out, buy stock, eat Ecstasy. Even Gen X-ers became less edgy as they finally received better paying jobs and insurance.

Of course, by 2001 it had all gone to hell again, but that's another tale.

Our present story is about the 1990's and about one man's journey through his twenties into his thirties, and the poetry and other material he secreted and left behind like the slime trail of some quiet literary slug.
The man's name is almost unimportant – "almost" only because it is nearly meaningless to anyone outside a tiny fragment of people who had some dealings with a small town in Northern Georgia at a particular time – or outside a smaller category of students and professors that knew him at college and university.

"Almost" is also an appropriate word here because every story needs characters and every character needs some sort of name; so why not use the fellow's actual name? It hardly matters, but it's conventional. That, and we have several interviews with this man as background and we don't want to have to go back and type in some idiotic pseudonym in place of his name.

The Compilers
July 2002

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