The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

Hebeloma's Clockwise Cadenza
Hebeloma Crustuliniforme
with illustrations by Julia K. Keffer
(link to main page of score)


April 1, 2023
Melanippe and the rest of the crew enjoyed spring at sea. The days were pleasantly warm and the nights cool. The rains arrived in the afternoon with modest winds that caught the sails but left gentle seas. A tarp was made ready beside her easel to protect the map at the first sign of rain. Pockets of the coast became lush with new vegetation. The vernal fever infected Linus, their singer, who crafted lyrics that praised both Zephyrus, god of west winds that brought spring to the land, and Persephone, who summoned crops and all plants to rise from the soil.

written while listening to:  Orchestre National de Jazz, Olivier Benoit - Europa Oslo (ONJazz Records, 454444, 2017, France, cd,

April 2, 2023
The martial training of Linus and Melanippe resumed after dinner each night. A number of oarsmen, who thought it best to brush up on their footwork, voluntarily joined in the drills. The Aetos would soon move from Phoenician to Egyptian-controlled waters. That they were on the brink of entering seas bordering fabled Kemet instilled in each man their great distance from home. They traveled far beyond all aid from any Greek navy and would have to fend for themselves. As for the two novices, they appreciated Hierax's stern judgment finding many more targets. Before long, the veteran had all hundred-some men practicing maneuvers.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Solo Guitar Series: Different Guitars (Incus Records, Number 3, 2002, United Kingdom, cdr,

April 3, 2023
"In Egypt, each town and crossroads has several names," Theodoros said, "for there are many tongues and not all speak to each other. The Egyptians call their land 'Kemet', which means black land, because of the fertile soil. Their river, the Nile, is said to be the largest in the world. Its broad mouth spreads more than forty leagues with various waterways emptying into the Great Sea. We travel to Thonis, scattered on islands in the delta. From afar, the Greeks have dubbed the city 'Heracleion', but no locals would deign to use that foreign appellation."

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Koko (PSF Records, PSFD-00, 2003, Japan, cd,

April 4, 2023
After one training session with Hierax, in which Melanippe had received a rare, though modest, compliment for her form, Linus sought her out. The Great Sea was laid out before them like a dark mirror reflecting the sky burnt orange by the setting sun. He sat beside her on the beach. They admired the colors awhile then he spoke. "It seems, between the two of us, you shall be the better spearmen." A faint smile escaped Melanippe. "If we are attacked by pirates," Linus continued, "I shall seek refuge behind your easel, while you keep the enemy at bay."

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Nice Guys (ECM Records, ECM 1126, 1979, Germany, lp,

April 5, 2023
Melanippe asked the singer to cut her hair. Privately, she believed that keeping it short reduced her chances of being identified as a woman. When Linus, whose own brunette locks fell to his shoulders, questioned her regarding this choice, she answered with no more than a shrug. Nevertheless, he did as she bade, burying the clippings in the sand when he had finished. Not for the first time did Melanippe surreptitiously examine his face. If they had passed on the streets of Athens, she might have whispered to a girlfriend, "Do you think that one is cute?"

written while listening to:  Aaron Burnett - Correspondence (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS010, 2022, United States, cd,

April 6, 2023
As for the singer, we might suppose that, for one whose voice was heard more than any other aboard the ship, he ought to have had no trouble communicating. However, the reality of his loneliness weighed heavily on him. Linus yearned to confide in the only other crewmate close to his age, but he proved unable to broach the subject. Instead, he quietly enjoyed sitting in the presence of the cartographer. He imagined, correctly to some extent, that the two shared an unspoken bond, based on their mutual experience in trading their youth for the labor of a seafaring life.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre - Live In Israel, disc 2 (Kadima Collective, KCR 17, 2008, Israel, cdx2,

April 7, 2023
For five days the Aetos traveled with hills to the east before the shoreline gradually curved and the ship turned west with the land now lying southerly. Still close to Tyre, they continued to pass Phoenician vessels on a daily basis. During this time, the routine changed little. There was scant need for Abas to navigate as their route adhered to the geography of the coastline. He merely selected spots for them to come ashore each night. Although he frequently looked over Melanippe's shoulder to examine her map, his words were few. There were no flaws to correct and he was not given to flattery.

written while listening to:  Miles Okazaki - The Sky Below (Pi Recordings, PI84, 2019, United States, cd,

April 8, 2023
A friendship between the singer and the cartographer flowered. By day, they were stationed at far ends of the ship, Linus in the bow and Melanippe in the stern. However, he sought out her company during, or sometimes after, the evening meal. Once he spoke longingly of Athens, admitting his homesickness. If he had expected the cartographer to do the same, he was disappointed. Melanippe had resolved not to speak of her past at all, lest a slip of the tongue betray her. In an attempt to avoid appearing callous, she nodded sympathetically.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy - Straws (Cramps Records, CRSLP 6206, 1977, Italy, lp,

April 9, 2023
Of the friendship between Melanippe and Linus, one man took particular note. The scholar, who had brought the cartographer on board and who, alone among the crew of the Aetos, knew the secret of her sex, observed the pair spending time together after dinner. We shall describe his reaction for what it was—jealousy, unfounded, as is often the case, for the accord between these two young people was wholly platonic. For their part, neither noticed the effect of their rapport on Theodoros and attributed any brusqueness on his part to ordinary irritability.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets, disc 3 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 005, 2022, Finland, cdx7,

April 10, 2023
A most scalene love triangle formed on the deck of the Aetos. Theodoros coveted Melanippe as if she were indeed the assistant whom he had hoped to recruit, a young man in whom he could satisfy his lust. Linus too came to cherish Melanippe, though he called her Cimon, and imagined her a kindred comrade, mutually embarked on the shared adventure of their youth. As for our heroine, she nurtured a juvenile crush on the singer, appealing in part due to its impossibility. No less was her gratitude for the scholar who had rescued her from Crete.

written while listening to:  Naked City - Grand Guignol (Avant, AVAN002, 1992, Japan, cd,

April 11, 2023
The imagination of Theodoros gave rise to suspicion. He speculated that the two had become lovers. They likely stole away in the small hours of the night, as all others slept. There on the beach, the pair took their pleasure in each other, while aboard ship they perpetrated a flawless ruse of brotherly camaraderie. Perhaps it was the effect of spring. One night, a field of irises grew beside the beach. Gathering a handful of blooms, Theodoros presented them to Melanippe in full view of the crew, reminding them all that the cartographer belonged to him.

written while listening to:  World Saxophone Quartet - Revue (Black Saint, BSR 0056, 1982, Italy, lp,

April 12, 2023
Melanippe misunderstood the gesture. She had already come to the realization that the scholar was simultaneously composed of two men—a lecherous glutton that emerged in the shadowy corners of brothels and a marvelously talented linguist who dominated his personality in other environs. Naïve and wistful, she mistook his gesture for genuine affection! She herself longed for physical contact. With the crew of the Aetos as her witness, she accepted the irises and impulsively bestowed a grateful hug upon a bewildered Theodoros.

written while listening to:  Ákos Rózmann - Tolv Stationer / Twelve Stations (1978-2001), disc 4 (Ideologic Organ, SOMA021, 2014 (rec. 1999), Austria, cdx7,

April 13, 2023
In an unforeseen consequence of the public display of affection between the scholar and the cartographer, several oarsmen began to relentlessly tease the singer as Theodoros' rival for the attention of Cimon. Not all of the ribbing was good-natured. One sailor quipped, "You've stiff competition if you're to bugger our mapmaker!" These men made no attempt to whisper their coarse taunts. When remarks reached Melanippe's ears, she felt guilty at having put Linus in an awkward position. In order to preserve his masculinity among the older men, the singer reacted to their jeers by avoiding his friend.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Composition N. 169 + (186 + 206 + 214), disc 1 (Leo Records, CD LR 320/321, 2001, United Kingdom, cdx2,

April 14, 2023
Several days later they reached the eastern edge of the Nile delta. The change in landscape was immediately apparent. Where patches of scrub and scattered trees had clung haphazardly to rocky terrain, now the coast gave way to an expanse of verdant green as far as the eye could see. The hand of the Egyptians was evident everywhere. Arrays of tilled fields stretched inward. Wheat and barley, beans and lettuce, flax and papyrus, all would rise from this fertile soil. Meticulously maintained, irrigation channels for orchards of carob and pomegranate lined the fields.

written while listening to:  Rituals (Jacob Ridderberg & Maria Dybbroe) - Rituals (Bad Posture, BADP003, 2019, Denmark, lp,

April 15, 2023
Amidst this bounty, designated beaches remained accessible to the crews of trading ships. Melanippe saw her first Egyptians patrolling the border of fields. They did not approach travelers, including those from the Aetos; their presence was intended to prevent foraging of the crops, for which they would be held accountable come harvest. The guards were armed with bow and arrow. A peculiarly shaped sickle hung at their belts, named khopesh by Theodoros. This information prompted Melanippe to request that he recite words associated with warfare in Greek, Hittite, Punic and Egyptian. Ably did he satisfy her curiosity.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker, Keith Rowe, Barry Guy & Eddie Prévost - Supersession (Matchless Recordings, MR17, 1988, United Kingdom, cd,

April 16, 2023
So broad was the diffuse mouth of the Nile that three more days of travel passed before they reached Thonis on the western boundary of the delta. The city was situated on several islands. Those close together were connected by causeways constructed on stone embankments. It appeared that earlier paths between other islands had disappeared due to erosion. Even in the present time, some residents of the city foresaw the day, perhaps not too far in the future, when Thonis would be claimed by the Great Sea to lie in submerged ruins, decorated with coral and inhabited by fish.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke - I'm Happy, and I'm Singing, and a 1, 2, 3, 4 (Mego, MEGO 050, 2001, Austria, cd,

April 17, 2023
For the time being, Thonis clung to a terrestrial perch. The city served the Egyptians as a portal to the commodities of the Greeks and Phoenicians, who traveled the Great Sea much more extensively than did the armada of the Pharoah. The Aetos docked at one of the islands joined to the city center, for they intended to trade a substantial amount of goods. For the use of this select location, the port administrator demanded an exorbitant fee. The arguments of the captain and quartermaster, translated by Theodoros, ended only when a portion of the requested fee was surrendered, which left both parties dissatisfied.

written while listening to:  Ernesto Martínez - Mutaciónes (Tzadik, TZ 7096, 2004, United States, cd,

April 18, 2023
After the port administrator's departure, Theodoros explained to the captain, "He has gone to report to his superiors. I suspect that he will return before long with a demand for the remainder of the docking fee." With this news, the captain cancelled the officers' traditional first day of shore leave. "In that case, we shall immediately head to market. Our stay in Thonis will be short." They left seeking the many riches of Egypt: statuary, gold, papyrus, myrrh, obsidian, malachite and ivory, as well as provisions for the crew to last until their next destination.

written while listening to:  Two Much (Reut Regev & Igal Foni) - Never Enough (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1115, 2021, United States, cd,

April 19, 2023
Ordered to remain near the Aetos should a hasty departure be needed, the oarsmen flocked to nearby taverns and inns to seek the fabled pleasures of Egyptian prostitutes. Left alone, Melanippe toured the city with Linus, keeping to the islands accessible by bridge. A diverse population occupied Thonis, including black-skinned Nubians, fairer Libyans, and Egyptians of a range of hues between the two. Visitors from Phoenician and Greek settlements intermingled with them. Native men wore knee-length skirts and the women wore close-fitting, wrap-around sheaths, accentuating their figures.

written while listening to:  Lee Konitz Nonet - Live at Laren (Soul Note, SN 1069, 1984, Italy, lp,

April 20, 2023
Melanippe caught the gaze of Linus lingering on passing beauties. He seemed unable to tear his eyes from one woman with sumptuous lips, wide hips and jangling bracelets. "Would you like me to take you to a brothel?" Melanippe asked. Linus shook his head with a sheepish smile. "Are you immune to their charms, Cimon?" He wondered privately if the cartographer's homosexuality was forced upon him by his apprenticeship to Theodoros or, rather, was a genuine trait of his nature. Melanippe sighed ambiguously. Her eyes traced the woman's contours. "No, Linus, I am not blind to the appeal of her form."

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Stardust (Prestige, PR 7268, 1963, United States, lp,

April 21, 2023
On the following morn, the port administrator returned, flanked by four guards. He suggested that, should the captain choose not to pay in full the flat docking fee, he could instead pay a tariff based on the value of their imported goods. The holds of the Aetos were filled with the wealth of Athens, Knossos, Tarsus and Tyre. Both knew that this second option would surely be more expensive than the first. The captain negotiated a day to assemble the remainder of the flat fee, a request which the Egyptian dubiously accepted, promising to collect on the morrow.

written while listening to:  Mayas, Nutters, Olsen & Galvez - On Creative Sources (Hail Satan) (Creative Sources, CS 093 cd, 2007, Portugal, cd,

April 22, 2023
The captain planned a full day of frenetic trading followed by a surreptitious departure during the night. The Aetos would not be welcome in Thonis again but they did not plan to retrace their route, as they were circumnavigating the coast of the Great Sea. From dawn until dusk did he have the scholar escort him from shop to shop. If paid by coin, money changed hands on the spot. If acquired through bartering, goods were immediately transported on and off ship. Theodoros deemed this a very poor manner in which to enjoy the exotic delights of Thonis.

written while listening to:  Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (Columbia, CS 8163, 1959, United States, lp,

April 23, 2023
Late the night before the planned flight in the morning, Theodoros collected Melanippe and, grasping her by the wrist, veritably dragged her from the dock to a particular tavern. "I shall not be denied the pleasures of Thonis," he repeated several times. She knew better than to protest, but argued all the same that she preferred to sleep. In a strange attempt to placate her, he began a vocabulary lesson in four languages covering all the words and phrases related to courtesans, brothels and a myriad of sexual acts. Doing so appeared to increase his ardor.

written while listening to:  Elizondo, Ojeda, Taveira Trio - Anbu (Ramble Records, RAM 088, 2022, Australia, digital files,

April 24, 2023
The Egyptian view on homosexuality was generally permissive so long as discretion was maintained. However, in this case, when a spy woke the port administrator to report that the noxious Greek scholar was at that very moment being serviced by a male prostitute, the bureaucrat seized the opportunity to improve his chances of acquiring the entirety of his extortive docking fee by holding their translator hostage. He had the man arrested "in the act", on charges of public lewdness, and confined to an office, which functioned occasionally as a holding cell for foreign visitors. A guard was stationed at the door.

written while listening to:  Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost, disc 4 (Revenant, RVN 213, 2004 (rec. 1966), United States, cdx10,

April 25, 2023
Melanippe witnessed the arrival of the brace of soldiers and their arrest of Theodoros. Dragged into the street, he proclaimed his innocence until a blow from a guard silenced him. Beneath a crescent moon, they escorted the scholar to a stone building on the main island beside the grand temple of Khonsu. She followed at a distance, keeping to the shadows. Her heart pounded in her chest, in part from concern for Theodoros but also for herself; she had endured imprisonment in a foreign city once before and had no desire to revisit the experience.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - Imikuzushi, sides A & B (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT07/mr03, 2012, Australia/Japan, lpx2,

April 26, 2023
Near midnight, Melanippe raced to the Aetos. Of the oarsmen left on watch, she asked only for the location of the captain. At a nearby inn, she hailed the proprietor who irritably identified his room. The captain roused sluggishly, appearing at the door unclothed and rubbing his eyes. She hastily explained the arrest of Theodoros and waited for the plan to secure his release. The captain absorbed the information then, to Melanippe's surprise, shrugged. "If he is not aboard at dawn, he shall be left behind—a boon for you to receive his full share as both cartographer and translator." Slamming the door, he returned to bed.

written while listening to:  Paul Motian Band - Garden of Eden (ECM Records, ECM 1919, 2006, Germany, cd,

April 27, 2023
Aghast and befuddled, Melanippe did not knock again at the door to protest her utter inadequacy as translator. Instead, she eventually found Abas, asleep on the deck of the Aetos. She shook him awake and hurriedly recounted the scholar's arrest and the captain's response. Abas allowed her words to penetrate his slumbering thoughts before he closed his eyes and rolled over. "Let what friends he has made aboard the Aetos secure his release. That is the way of a man's life at home and in distant lands." Until this moment, Melanippe had not realized the depth of the sailors' antipathy for the scholar.

written while listening to:  Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer & Shahzad Ismaily - Love In Exile, sides A & B (Verve Records, B0037167-01, 2023, United States, lpx2,

April 28, 2023
Understanding then that she held the fate of Theodoros in her hands, Melanippe descended below deck and ransacked the scholar's quarters until she found a box with his not inconsiderable savings and two electrum rings. She grabbed a handful of coins and the jewelry. Abas opened one eye as she crossed the deck. He wondered as to the source of Cimon's devotion and if he should see the cartographer again. Once on the dock, Melanippe paused to gain her bearings. The central temple of the moon god, son of Amun, served as an unmistakable landmark.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - The 80's Selected Concerts, disc 1 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 33, 2014 (rec. 1990), Germany, cdx5,

April 29, 2023
She sought Linus, sleeping amidst oarsmen in a dockyard. Shaking him awake, she whispered so as not to disturb the sailors, "I need your help. Come with me." Detecting the urgency in her voice, the singer did not ask for details. He jumped to his feet and followed through the streets of Thonis. Along the way, she explained the situation to him. He feared the deed to which he was now accomplice. "We are unarmed," he whispered. At his words, Melanippe paused in an alley. "What do you think we are doing?" "Are we not breaking Theodoros out of jail?" Melanippe frowned. "Yes, but not by violence...just ordinary bribery!"

written while listening to:  Ornette Coleman Trio - Live at the Golden Circle Stockholm Volume One (Blue Note, 84224, 1966, United States, lp,

April 30, 2023
The world was wide and full of riches but, for an Egyptian guard, Thonis was small and his lot impoverished. To allow a prisoner to escape through negligence, never mind corruption, could cost him his life or worse his welcome in the city, banishment being little better than death. Still, the gold that Melanippe offered he would not see with years of service. Adding the rings proved too great a temptation. He described a loose shutter in the rear of the building. With Linus as lookout, Melanippe pried the boards apart, climbed inside and emerged minutes later with the scholar in tow.

written while listening to:  Anla Courtis, Okkyung Lee, C. Spencer Yeh & Jon Wesseltoft - Cold/Burn (Feeding Tube Records, FTR069, 2012, United States, lp,

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