Excerpt from "Initial Signs of Mercy," (or "The Sitzer"), short story, 1997:
"Fred went agreeably to weekly jam sessions at The Bar of the Common People. Her own interest in flight was beginning to show and expressed itself in solo dancing.
While Jimmy was on stage, Fred talked with the bartender, a sound poet from Missoula. It was difficult to hear what he was saying so she wrote notes to him across the bar. She wrote about the weather. She wrote about trade winds. He wrote that he had not known that she was going to be crazy.
One night cops arrived -- someone in the neighborhood had complained about the noise. The cops repeatedly asked to see the liquor license and repeatedly stated that the piece of paper pinned to the wall above the cash register was merely a receipt for a license, not a license.
Fred grew impatient with their circular remarks. 'I know they have a beer and wine license,' she said.
'Where is it then?' one of the cops said.
The sound poet had told her the week before that he had sent off for a license but that it had never come in the mail.
'You tell us,' she said.
That was on a Wednesday. On Monday, the police closed the joint, right down to the basil growing fragrantly in the back, the rose bushes, the chive, the Wisconsin."