The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


August 1, 2023
Under azure skies, the Aetos continued to follow the southern shore. The northern coast appeared upon the horizon, gradually encroaching until the green mountains of both continents were clearly visible. They rowed through the wide strait, espying numerous fishing boats peacefully plying their trade across the calm waters. Petrels gathered overhead to form an escort for the bireme as it made a final approach to the port. Just as the crew had felt relief at arriving in Carthage after traversing the gauntlet of hunger, so too did they now welcome the sight of Tingis having overcome the perils of piracy.

written while listening to:  Dream and Drone Orchestra - Live At Church Of Santa Isabel (Silent Water/Doubledog Recordings, SW006/DbD001, 2014, Belgium, lp,

August 2, 2023
The Carthaginians had established a modest Phoenician presence in distant Tingis and Greeks were not unknown, but the settlement was dominated by Berbers to an extent not yet experienced by Melanippe. They were greeted by the harbor master, himself a Berber garbed in the robes of his kind and bedecked with an ornate silver brooch, signifying his station. The nationality of the Aetos being obvious, he spoke to them in Greek and received them so effusively that it immediately put the captain on edge. When asked how their journey had gone, the captain replied, "Well but for the pirates who cost us eleven men."

written while listening to:  AND (Derek Bailey, Pat Thomas & Steve Noble) - From the Store: Barbarian (Incus Records, CDR5, 2004, United Kingdom, cdr,

August 3, 2023
The harbor master commiserated with their loss then asked guardedly how the pirates had fared. The captain answered, "Their ship sails no more and all souls aboard were either cut down in battle or swallowed by the sea." The harbor master appeared ecstatic at the report that Tingis was rid of a scourge that had harried trade to their city for well nigh a year. He quickly spread this news and it seemed that a celebration would be held that night in honor of the crew of the Aetos. Initially ambivalent, the men soon warmed to the idea.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Milky Way (Mom 'N' Dad Productions, MoM-019, 1993 (rec. 1973), Japan, cd,

August 4, 2023
They were heralded as heroes and paraded through the narrow, winding streets to the city square where the booths of the bazaar had been pushed to the walls. As dusk fell, the residents of Tingis filled the plaza, all eager to hear confirmation of the rumors that the pirates who had strangled trade along the coast had breathed their last. Those who did not speak Greek feted the sailors with cheers and toasts, while those few who did pressed them for war stories but found their guests somewhat reticent to share gory details of their victory.

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Bande Sonore Originale Du Film "Les Stances À Sophie" (Pathé/Play Loud!, 2C 062-11365/pl-135, 2023 (orig. 1970), France/Germany, lp,

August 5, 2023
The town was not yet sufficiently populous to host sizeable inns capable of handling the arrival of more than one hundred men. The crew of the Aetos were to be billeted in dockyards, raised above the surrounding water level of the marshy grounds. No formal brothels existed. The men visited an alley lined with tents set aside for such purposes. Melanippe helped a frustrated Theodoros find a tent that suited him, lest out of unmet need she become a focus of his desire. Unthinkable to her at the start of the journey, in Tingis she batted not an eye at playing procuress for her mentor.

written while listening to:  Jon Lipscomb - Conscious Without Function (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS016, 2022, United States, cd,

August 6, 2023
After reveling with wine and women, the men had trouble sleeping. Many still were visited by nightmares in which the oarsman who had rowed beside him for months was brutally cut down. In the paralysis of dreams, they were unable to either flee or defend themselves. The yard was filled with tossing and uneasy moans. Melanippe too relived the moment when the pirate clambered up the shaft of the oar and took hold of her leg. The dream was not faithful to reality for she viciously stabbed him in the neck again and again as he pleaded for mercy.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre & Lauren Newton - Conversations Live In Ljubljana (Not Two Records, MW 892-2, 2012, Poland, cd,

August 7, 2023
On the following morning, Melanippe accompanied the captain and scholar to the office of the city magistrate, a Berber who styled himself a king. He was flanked by an advisor from Carthage. They had been counseled to kneel to the king, who bid them rise in his native tongue. Theodoros translated the conversation for the captain. "His highness thanks you for your aid against the pirates. He offers the standing reward for their extirpation." A chest of bronze coins struck in Tingis was brought forth. Of modest metallurgical value, they nevertheless would delight a numismatist. The captain accepted graciously.

written while listening to:  David Virelles - Continuum (Pi Recordings, PI46, 2012, United States, cd,

August 8, 2023
The captain did not immediately depart the king's court. "We travel the lands of the Great Sea and are charged with returning to Athens wares and fine souvenirs emblematic of the august cities that grace her shores. We shall pay fair prices to the merchants who are able to produce the best goods." Hearing this, the king extolled the markets of Tingis and ordered an aide to guide their guests to the most opulent shops where affluent patrons satisfied their every caprice. Thus Melanippe trailed along behind the trio of men on their shopping spree.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy Sextet - The Condor (Soul Note, SN 1135, 1986, Italy, lp,

August 9, 2023
The markets of Tingis offered a plethora of woven garments, clay tableware, metal tools and jewelry of silver inlaid with stones of azurite, banded in deep blues. While making a few small purchases, the captain proved a finicky client. He repeatedly ordered Theodoros to explain to their guide that when one was as widely traveled as he, one was liable to become jaded. "I want to see something I couldn't find in Cyrene or Carthage!" He sighed dramatically, "I've become too worldly." Hiding his frustration, the guide led them to another market located near the wharf.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets, disc 7 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 005, 2022, Finland, cdx7,

August 10, 2023
Situated between two enormous bodies of water, the riches of Tingis lay in the variety and abundance of fish. Among the fishmonger stalls, the captain was shown a tuna twelve feet in length, weighing as much as ten men. "It won't keep until we reach Athens!" he exclaimed. The captain next sampled a local delicacy of pickled seabass and nodded in approval. He purchased a crate of sealed jars, under assurances that it would remain palatable for months in the dark hold of the Aetos. Still, he was not convinced that the sponsors of this trip would find Tingis truly captured in his wares.

written while listening to:  PainKiller - Buried Secrets (Earache, mosh 62CD, 1992, United Kingdom, cd,

August 11, 2023
In order to enter one particular shop, patrons stepped through a gaping portal carved in the shape of the jawbone of a gargantuan sea monster, with rows of serrated teeth above and below. The captain admired the craftsmanship of the doorway. "This work of art is not man-made," clarified the guide. "This mouth and these hundreds of teeth belonged to a creature pulled from the ocean." The captain declared, "This maw I could find nowhere but Tingis!" He paid an exorbitant sum to the owner and had the bones promptly transported in two pieces to the Aetos.

written while listening to:  World Saxophone Quartet - Live in Zurich (Black Saint, BSR 0077, 1984, Italy, lp,

August 12, 2023
On the day before their departure, Melanippe joined the Ethiopian at a café, partaking in a Tingis variation of spiced barley tea. She recalled her encounter with the local king. "I was surprised how readily he surrendered the reward, taking us at our word." The Ethiopian replied, "Now that you mention it, I too visited the king's court, though I was dragged there without ceremony during the celebration. They interrogated me regarding the pirates' demise. They refused to believe that I was not a slave among you. In exchange for my freedom, they sought a true account. I could but confirm our captain's story."

written while listening to:  Illegal Crowns - Unclosing (Out Of Your Head Records, OOYH 020, 2023, United States, cd,

August 13, 2023
Later that same day Abas summoned Melanippe. "I have need of your translating," he said and bade her follow him. As they walked, she asked, "Why not Theodoros? His Berber is much better than mine." Abas did not answer. He led her to a dock where fisherman mended nets and tended to their boats after the day's catch had been carted off. They found a father and son who appeared curious about them. Melanippe rendered Abas' greeting then relayed his questions regarding the Greek settlement of Hemeroskopeion, for he knew not the distance nor the seas between here and there.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Trillium R, Act 3 (Braxton House, BH-008, 1999, United states, cdx4,

August 14, 2023
Once the subject of the conversation was established, several other fishermen on the dock joined them. Having plied these waters all their lives, the locals were a veritable font of knowledge on such matters, though, laconic by nature, it took Melanippe some coaxing to extract what information Abas sought. Their language was simple and her knowledge of the Berber tongue more than satisfactory. The fishermen mistook her for the son of Abas and she did not correct them. She wondered if they would have been so forthcoming if he had brought the prim scholar to serve as go-between.

written while listening to:  Moonbow - When The Sleeping Fish Turn Red (ILK Music, ILK264, 2016, Denmark, lp,

August 15, 2023
The sun set on their way back to the Aetos. In the dusk light, Melanippe glanced sideways at old Abas, walking beside her. If Theodoros was her unfaithful husband, then Abas was her father, unyielding in his quiet support. For the rest of the night, her thoughts dwelt on her parents and younger sister in Athens. She supposed that they believed her to have perished in the Cretan labyrinth soon after her departure. She dearly wished for a way to let them know that she was alive and had found a surrogate family who cared for her.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker, Alexander von Schlippenbach & Paul Lytton - America 2003, disc 1 (psi, psi 04.06/7, 2004, United Kingdom, cdx2,

August 16, 2023
The captain had made inquiries regarding replacement oarsmen for those lost to the pirates but there was no ready supply of sailors willing to leave their homeland for distant ports aboard a foreign vessel. Thinking of how well the Ethiopian had worked out, the captain inquired about the availability of slaves. He found the slave market of Tingis an impromptu and dismal affair, free of stout laborers. He did not trust the shifty, darting glances of the malnourished men gathered there. As a result, the Aetos departed Tingis with the same short crew with whom it had arrived.

written while listening to:  Günter Müller, Voice Crack & Jim O'Rourke - Table Chair and Hatstand (For 4 Ears, CD 820, 1997, Switzerland, cd,

August 17, 2023
They rowed north. In two hours, the strokes of the oarsmen transported the Aetos from the northern coast of Libya to the southern coast of Europa. On Melanippe's map the gap between the continents was smaller than the width of her finger. However, no one aboard ship felt any closer to home. In leaving Tingis, they had left civilization, albeit Berber. Here, this remote peninsula remained a wild territory, its interior charted by neither Greeks nor Phoenicians. Of the wandering tribes of Celts and Iberians who called it home little was known.

written while listening to:  Marc Ribot - Scelsi Morning (Tzadik, TZ 7089, 2003, United States, cd,

August 18, 2023
The travelers were welcomed by a local breed of shearwater, whose collective moans and shrieks followed the rhythm of the surf. Linus sang to them of the exploits of the Aetos, rehearsing as it developed the ballad that he would present to the lords of Athens upon their return. In his song, he described the glory of each city along their journey, the rising sun over Tarsus, the island of Tyre at high tide, Thonis in the Nile delta, Carthage and its engineered harbor. Overhead, the shearwaters' chant continued as unending as the movement of the tides.

written while listening to:  Biliana Voutchkova & Susana Santos Silva - Bagra (Relative Pitch Records, RPRDL007, 2022, United States, digital files,

August 19, 2023
From their vantage point at sea, the mountainous terrain of the coast rose and fell with clouds brushing over broad peaks. Drawing closer at the end of the day, they found long stretches of beach extending far inland. The crew was able to establish a loose camp with each man given plenty of space, a welcome relief from the cramped confines of the Aetos. After dinner, fearless gulls wandered between reclining forms on the sand. The night watch duties, however, were not rescinded, lest they be taken unaware by marauding natives as they slept.

written while listening to:  Air - Live Air (Black Saint, BSR 0034, 1980, Italy, lp,

August 20, 2023
After several nights of travel north along the coast of Iberia, the Ethiopian said to Melanippe, "This is no way to know a land." She did not disagree. At his bidding, she requested permission from the captain to venture into the tree line beyond the beach. When asked her purpose, Melanippe offered, "Reconnoitering." Before departing, they collected Linus. Hiking through the low forest of chestnut, linden, hazelnut, ash and maple, they found no sign of man. Pausing to enjoy the scene of a primordial glade beside a pond, the trio was joined by a pair of masked polecats. Eventually each party lost interest in the other and they parted.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy - Evenings At The Village Gate, sides C & D (Impulse!, B0037785-01, 2023 (rec. 1961), United States, lpx2,

August 21, 2023
The next day, the Aetos faced a steady headwind. Though the sails were furled, the progress made with each stroke was noticeably reduced. Consequently, the men grew irritable and began squabbling over trifling matters. Abas ordered them to shore an hour earlier than usual in hopes of better winds on the morrow. At that time, they spotted a dark brown mass on the beach. Approaching land, they resolved a herd of mother seals and their pups, numbering several score. This isolated beach, usually free from the predations of man, served as a nursery. The men, devoid of maternal instincts, were eager to release their pent-up tempers.

written while listening to:  Volume - View (Va Fongool, VAFLP013, 2018, Norway, lp,

August 22, 2023
The cry went up, "Let us feast on the rich, milky flesh of mother seals!" If any besides Melanippe were sickened by the thought of the impending slaughter, none had the courage to voice their opinion. She casually walked to the bow and, as Linus paused in his singing, she quietly bade him to dissuade the crew from butchering and eating the seals. She provided no reason, only the request. "What would you have me do?" Linus asked. "Save those gentle creatures," she replied before returning to her station at the easel in the stern.

written while listening to:  The Jimmy Giuffre 3 - Trav'lin' Light (Atlantic, SD 1282, 1958, United States, lp,

August 23, 2023
It never occurred to Linus to ignore Melanippe's plea. He ransacked his memory. He had only one tool at his disposal—his voice—with but a few minutes to collect and organize those few snippets of lore known to him regarding seals. Still, he was exceptionally talented at impromptu composition and soon began a new song as they rowed to shore. He sang of the brood of lovely children of the Nereid Halosydne. He recalled Proteus, shepherd of seals. Surely that wise old man of the sea had guided these mothers and their young to this secluded beach for a purpose.

written while listening to:  Maxi Mas - Maine (Ramble Records, no catalog #, 2022, Australia, digital files,

August 24, 2023
Some among the oarsmen did not appreciate the sentiment that spread among their fellow crewmates, but interrupting the rhythm of the singer was forbidden by maritime tradition. The song of Linus reminded the men that seals were the most useful of all sea creatures for magic; Proteus gained his prophetic powers from his oracular flock. It was well known that, when captured, the tears of seals foretold human tragedy. In this way, the men begrudgingly lost their appetite for slaughter. Sensing the change in mood, Abas directed them to come ashore farther up the coast, leaving the monk seals in peace.

written while listening to:  Sonny Rollins - Tour de Force (Prestige, PR 7126, 1958, United States, lp,

August 25, 2023
Melanippe was grateful beyond words to Linus for his saving of the seals and desperate for a way to communicate her gratitude. She had never felt as trapped as she did that night by the company of the Aetos. She dared not embrace Linus to cry her own tears of relief into his shoulder for the great kindness that he had shown the children of the sea and the tender service he had rendered Melanippe in granting her wish without reservation or expectation of reward. She was convinced there was no greater love and she powerless to return it.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - Tea Time for Those Determined to Completely Exhaust Every Bit of this Body They've Been Given (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT12/mr06, 2015, Australia/Japan, lp,

August 26, 2023
A steady rain fell on the afternoon when the Aetos came within sight of Hemeroskopeion. The settlement bore the rather drab name of "Watchtower" due to a rocky crag that rose precipitously above the seaside plateau. Upon this promontory stood a lone tower of crude square architecture. The white blocks of stone from which the structure was built appeared streaked with gray ash when wet, providing a dreary and unwelcoming view. The captain turned to Theodoros, standing dutifully beside him. In disgust, he muttered, "I thought you said there was a city here. I see but a single stone finger warding off the sky."

written while listening to:  Dave Holland Quintet - Razor's Edge (ECM Records, ECM 1353, 1987, Germany, cd,

August 27, 2023
There was no proper wharf. A crude ramp of piled stone and gravel stretched down the beach, reaching into the water at high tide. Beside the ramp, one Greek galley was currently moored. The Aetos docked on the other side. Standing upon this stone platform, the captain would have been happy for a greeting from a harbor master seeking his fee. Instead, he peered out over a ramshackle collection of mud-brick huts outnumbered by smelters. Even without a breeze, the odor from the furnaces reached him. The entire town, both men and structures, seemed coated in a pervasive film of soot.

written while listening to:  The Chet Baker Quartet - The Complete Pacific Jazz Live Recordings, sides C & D (Mosaic Records, MR4-113, 1985 (rec. 1954), United States, lpx4,

August 28, 2023
Laborers loaded iron ingots onto the other ship. They completely ignored the captain, until he ordered Theodoros to ask them for directions to the local magistrate's office so as to register their arrival. It turned out that there was no governor in Hemeroskopeion, only a foreman and his two lieutenants, one of whom oversaw mining and the other smelting. All men here hailed from Massalia and spoke Greek in the Ionian dialect. There were few women and no children. The crew disembarked but remained on the beach, uncertain where to proceed, for there were no obvious markets, inns, cafés or brothels.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - The 80's Selected Concerts, disc 5 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 37, 2014 (rec. 1982), Germany, cdx5,

August 29, 2023
In the interview with the foreman, a brusque man garbed in a leather apron, Melanippe had an opportunity to hear the differences of his speech with the proper Greek of Athens. He described Hemeroskopeion as a mining outpost established by Massalia. They had developed the capability to refine the ore simply to increase the amount of good iron shipped back home in each galley. The men rotated shifts, those arriving as oarsmen took their turn in the mines and at the smelters, until the next ship arrived. Few wanted to dwell overlong in the unhealthy, black haze permeating the settlement.

written while listening to:  Sachiko M & Keith Rowe - Contact, disc 1 (Erstwhile Records, erstwhile 054-2, 2009, United States, cdx2,

August 30, 2023
Where avenues were lined with trees in other towns, here piles of slag bordered the dirt streets. When the captain inquired about replenishing provisions, the foreman replied bluntly. "We've only recently cleared fields and planted wheat. It doesn't sustain us yet. Our food and wine are delivered by the same ships that leave filled with iron." The captain did not like the implication of the statement or its unfriendly tone. "We can purchase provisions," he said. The foreman replied noncommittally, "We've modest reserves. It might be possible to spare you just enough rations to get you to Massalia."

written while listening to:  Jean-Jacques Birgé - pique-nique au labo 3 (GRRR, GRRR 2036, 2023, France, cd,

August 31, 2023
Back at the ship, the captain was furious. "There's nothing here but a mine!" he shouted at Abas. To Theodoros he said, "Do you remember how hard I had to search in Tingis to find something worthy of our voyage to bring back as a trophy to Athens?" The captain looked over the dismal huts placed amid, not trees, but rising tendrils of smoke. "I can't work miracles. Shall I return triumphantly brandishing bars of iron?" Theodoros turned away, leaving the captain to face Melanippe. "It's your turn! You find the hidden treasure of Hemeroskopeion. Don't come back until you do!"

written while listening to:  Harry Bertoia - Sonambient Complete Collection, disc 10: Here and Now / Unknown (Important Records, IMPREC419, 2016 (orig. 1978), United States, cdx11,

previous month

next month

This work is made available to the public, free of charge and on an anonymous basis. However, copyright remains with the author. Reproduction and distribution without the publisher's consent is prohibited. Links to the work should be made to the main page of the score.