The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


July 1, 2023
After two weeks of short rations, Theodoros sought out a restaurant, specializing in braised mutton, and ordered more food than Melanippe supposed that the three of them could possibly consume in one sitting. However, she had misjudged her appetite, both physical and psychological. She succumbed to a compulsive delight in resigning herself to a bout of culinary over-indulgence. The singer and the scholar shared her enthusiasm for they too remained at the table until the bowls were picked clean. So pleased was Theodoros with the meal that he paid for it and beamed with delight in claiming credit for their excess.

written while listening to:  Orchestre National de Jazz - Concert Anniversaire 30 Ans (ONJazz Records, 464444, 2018, France, cd+dvd,

July 2, 2023
When night came to Carthage, Melanippe and Theodoros parted ways with Linus. They made their intentions clear, though unspoken, that they sought an establishment where those who shared their desires were welcome. The Ethiopian's comment on Melanippe's feminine appearance continued to disturb her and she kept close company to the scholar, ostensibly to strengthen her ruse. With Linus absent, no one of the Aetos was present to witness the scholar seek companionship from one other than his apprentice, who remained in the tavern listening to a minstrel play Libyan tunes upon a lyre while she nursed a cup of wine.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Solo Guitar Series: Then (Incus Records, Number 6, 2004, United Kingdom, cdr,

July 3, 2023
On the following day, Melanippe accompanied the captain and the scholar as they planned to make their way through the sprawling markets and commercial districts. It soon became clear that their shopping could not be accomplished in a single day for the captain spent the entirety of the morning among metallurgists. In addition to bracelets and brooches displayed in the parlors of gold and silversmiths, there was no shortage of shops specializing in weapons of iron, copper mirrors and ornaments, bronze cauldrons and razors, and lead seals and tablets, each with a distinctive Carthaginian flair.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Even Now, Still I Think (Tokuma Japan Communications/J-Factory, TKCF-77023, 1998, Japan, cd,

July 4, 2023
In the afternoon, they visited markets with, aside from dates, some strange fruits. The captain was uninterested in transporting perishable goods back to Athens, for they yet faced lengthy travel. A Berber vendor displayed animals skins of an absurd variety, among them one of a horse bearing stripes in black and white. A long day concluded with the purchase of several woolen goods, including blankets dyed with Libyan motifs over which the captain swore the wives of his clients would swoon. The riches brought back from the voyage of the Aetos would be the talk of Athens for years to come!

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Fanfare for the Warriors (Atlantic, SD 1651, 1974, United States, lp,

July 5, 2023
They were granted entrance to Byrsa, the inner city. The captain hurried past temples, pausing only briefly before a statue of Tanit, wife of Ba'al Hamon. Like Astarte, whom the Phoenicians had left in Tyre, Tanit was honored by warriors and mothers alike. She was presented both as a nude woman with the head of lion and as an abstract trapezoid atop which a circle rested. On that day, an auroch was offered as holocaust and not, thankfully, an infant as Melanippe had feared. The captain purchased incense and many holy relics of amber and ivory.

written while listening to:  Don Malfon - Mutable (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS015, 2022, United States, cd,

July 6, 2023
That night, after drinking, the scholar led his apprentice some distance outside the city walls. Together they toured the expansive necropolis of Carthage, wandering through a maze of stone monuments engraved with red linear patterns and floral designs. By moonlight he read the names of a Berber father lain beside a Punic wife and son. The visit perplexed Melanippe for it put the scholar in a sentimental mood, mortality weighing heavily on his mind. Unsuitable as a lover, she supposed he found her a worthy recipient of his platonic feelings. He parted from her with a melancholic kiss.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre, Craig Taborn & Mat Maneri - hEARoes (Rogueart, ROG-0127, 2023, France, cd,

July 7, 2023
Let us tell an unlikely truth slow coming to Melanippe. Like a wife yearning for the embrace of a husband who has long let his attentions stray, Melanippe, by her right as his apprentice, harbored a secret, privileged fondness for Theodoros. Indeed, she felt very much the role of a cheated wife. After the unexpected kiss in the cemetery, she began to regard the scholar as her unfaithful husband. If it seems strange that our heroine, absent jealousy and physical desire for the touch of the man, should feel this way, we offer as explanation only her unmet need to feel and to show kindness.

written while listening to:  Steve Coleman & the Council of Balance - Synovial Joints (Pi Recordings, PI57, 2015, United States, cd,

July 8, 2023
On their last day at port, Melanippe by chance spied the Ethiopian seated at a table outside a cafe, conversing with a black man in a tongue unknown to her. She approached them casually, greeting them with a wave. "Cimon, the mapmaker on the Aetos," said the Ethiopian to his countryman in Berber, a language known to all three, at least in part. The fellow nodded and invited her to sit and join them for an herbal infusion of barley and spices. At first skeptical, Melanippe, upon drinking, found it delicious and exclaimed, "The wonders of Carthage never cease!" This remark naturally pleased her hosts.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy Quintet - Esteem: Live in Paris, 1975 (Atavistic, ALP260CD, 2006 (rec. 1975), United States, cd,

July 9, 2023
After maneuvering through the canal forming the outer harbor of Carthage, the Aetos sailed west under a favorable wind as the sun climbed behind them. Shirtless and gray-bearded, Abas stepped up behind Melanippe to quietly advise her, "You would do well to pay special attention to your map from now on." Melanippe looked over her shoulder, waiting for an explanation. "In all my years at sea," admitted Abas, "I have never traveled the Libyan coast beyond Carthage. These waters are new to me too and I shall be of little help to you."

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets, disc 6 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 005, 2022, Finland, cdx7,

July 10, 2023
The mood among the oarsmen was subdued for, though they had not been privy to Abas' confession, they too sensed that the wilder half of their journey now lay before them. The reassurances that they offered each other in response to their shared disquiet took the form of compliments paid to the Aetos, praising the sleekness of her design, the sturdiness of her hull and the favor she found with Hera, whose eyes painted upon the prow, guided her. Not least of all, encouragement was found in the companionship of their fellow crewmen who powered the ship.

written while listening to:  PainKiller - Execution Ground, disc 3 (Toy's Factory, TFCK-88731~3, 1995, Japan, cdx3,

July 11, 2023
Melanippe tracked the coast with, if possible, heightened vigilance. In truth, Abas yet had much to offer her, simply by his steady presence, careful eye and impeccable estimates of their distance traveled each day. Tiny, nameless villages continued to dot the rugged coastline and, as before, the Aetos sought unpopulated coves to come ashore each night. Having fully replenished their provisions in Carthage, the worry of starvation was banished for now and they left passing schools of sea bass and tuna unmolested. They encountered no other ships, the most travelled trade routes heading east from Carthage back to civilization.

written while listening to:  Julius Hemphill & Warren Smith - Chile New York (Black Saint, 120146-2, 1998 (rec. 1980), Italy, cd,

July 12, 2023
The Ethiopian was repeatedly asked for insight regarding the lands beyond the coastline. With the aid of Melanippe, he explained that he was no more familiar with this part of the world than were they. He suggested that the city of his birth lay a greater distance from Carthage than did Athens, a claim which drew guffaws of disbelief. Over several days, men debated the size of the world. Ultimately, the scholar refused to refute the Ethiopian's words, saying the ends of the Earth had yet to be fully mapped and the extent of their ignorance remained unbounded.

written while listening to:  Ákos Rózmann - Tolv Stationer / Twelve Stations (1978-2001), disc 7 (Ideologic Organ, SOMA021, 2014 (rec. 2000), Austria, cdx7,

July 13, 2023
With the rising sun, a lone ship appeared on an eastern horizon clouded with pink cinnabar and orange ochre. Soon identified as a Punic quadrireme, the vessel possessed a single bank of oars on each side, with each oar powered by four men. The stern of the boat curled upward in a fish tail and the bow sported a battering rostrum in the form of a beaked, wooden spur. An enormous black horse was painted upon the main sail. Built for speed, the ship moved faster than the Aetos. Abas advised the captain to maintain their current pace and keep a watchful eye.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Trillium R, Act 2 (Braxton House, BH-008, 1999, United states, cdx4,

July 14, 2023
The two ships traveled west along the coast. With no obvious reason to assign any nefarious motive to the vessel, the captain yet asked, "Why should Carthage send a ship from its navy to pursue us?" Abas replied so that all could hear his reassuring words, "We do not know that we are pursued. Numerous small settlements dot the western Libyan coast. It could be headed to any such village on its own business." He added in a quieter tone, "And, though it may once have been, I don't believe that galley still belongs to the Carthaginian armada. The sail has been altered. The horse is limned in red."

written while listening to:  Sidechains - Vands Transparens (Barefoot Records, BFREC074LP, 2023, Denmark, lp,

July 15, 2023
The gap between the two ships gradually closed. By evening, when the Aetos should have been headed to shore for the night, Abas advised sleeping at the oars. "Ashore, their greater numbers will overwhelm us, if that be their goal. Until we know their intentions, it's better to encounter them on the water where our bireme has some advantage in maneuverability, should they bear us ill will." At the captain's order, Hierax oversaw the distribution of spears, swords and bows among the crew. Melanippe stowed her map in the scholar's quarters and kept a spear in hand.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker & Eddie Prévost - Tools of Imagination (Fundacja Słuchaj!, FSR 05|2018, 2018, Poland, cd,

July 16, 2023
Abas directed them further from the coast. The night sky clouded, obscuring both moon and stars. In the darkness, it proved impossible to make out the proximity of the Punic ship. Under orders of silence, the oarsmen slept if they could but were ready to fight at a moment's notice. Melanippe lay on deck beside her empty easel. Abas sat with her. "If they are pirates," he whispered, "they will close the distance tonight and strike with the rising sun behind them at dawn." His calm words caused Melanippe to believe that the old helmsman had lived through similar nights before.

written while listening to:  Lee Ranaldo, William Hooker, Jim O'Rourke & Gianni Gebbia - Clouds (Les Disques Victo, VICTOcd054, 1997, Canada, cd,

July 17, 2023
Just before dawn, Abas heard faint voices on the water. The other vessel was close. He roused the superintendents and had them wake the oarsmen as quietly as possible. In silence, they lowered sails and rowed without the voice of Linus to synchronize their strokes, re-orienting the ship so that it faced east. Flight was no longer an option. Tingis lay two weeks distant. They would meet their attackers head on. What shields they had were distributed to absorb an initial volley of arrows. Little more than boards, two men were expected to huddle behind each.

written while listening to:  David Simons - Prismatic Hearing (Tzadik, TZ 8001, 2004, United States, cd,

July 18, 2023
As Abas had predicted, with the first hint of the rising sun, the ship was revealed just off their starboard bow. On cue, the drum keeping time on the quadrireme sounded and the vessel lurched forward. Linus sang a martial tune as the men of the Aetos set their oars in motion. The two ships careened recklessly toward each other. Drawing within bowshot, the pirates loosed a hail of arrows. Abas called out a warning and Melanippe ducked behind his shield. Arrows sunk into shields and deck. One man, struck in the leg, howled but continued rowing.

written while listening to:  Barre Phillips, John Butcher & Ståle Liavik Solberg - We Met - And Then (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1122, 2021, United States, cd,

July 19, 2023
The archers aboard the Aetos had time to return but one volley. If any arrow struck true, none could tell. Abas ordered them to turn hard to port, which exposed their starboard side. He immediately followed with a sharp turn to starboard. He relied upon the superior maneuverability of the smaller bireme, laden though it was with goods, to orient them so that they might threaten the broad side of the pirate galley. The quadrireme attempted to counter the move, but only partially succeeded. The Aetos rushed toward the enemy vessel. Just before impact Abas shouted, "Brace yourselves, men!"

written while listening to:  Sun Ra Arkestra - Hours After (Black Saint, 120 111-1, 1989, Italy, lp,

July 20, 2023
The two ships collided with a terrific crash. Melanippe was thrown off her feet, losing her spear. The bronze battering ram splintered the wooden hull of the Punic ship with such force that the two vessels were wedged together along the obtuse angle at which they had met. The oarsmen of the Aetos rose to their feet with spear or sword in hand. Melanippe scurried on all fours to reclaim her weapon. Pirates leapt from the higher deck of the Punic ship onto the bireme. The morning sun continued to climb as battle was engaged.

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

July 21, 2023
Although Melanippe had had the entire night to ponder the thought, it wasn't until this moment, when violence and death filled the air, that she wondered what drove the pirates to this act. In truth, the captain of this vessel had, a year ago while still enlisted in the Carthaginian navy, lost a skirmish through his own misjudgment. Fearing court martial and execution, he had forsaken Carthage and turned to piracy. He found no shortage of desperate men, Berbers and Phoenicians alike, ready to replace those of his crew who invariably died with each haphazard raid.

written while listening to:  Annette Krebs, Anthea Caddy & Magda Mayas - Thread (Another Timbre, at48, 2012, United Kingdom, cd,

July 22, 2023
Melanippe was ill-prepared for the bloody reality of combat. The pirates continued to pour onto the ship where the men at the fore oars met them with spear and sword. She observed several pirates propelled by those behind them impaled upon Grecian spears. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw a raider sprint with sword upraised toward Linus, paralyzed with fear. An oarsmen of the Aetos shoved the singer back and buried his sword in the assailant's abdomen. While men in the bow fought, those in the stern bided their time. With no end to the stream of pirates, all would be called to battle.

written while listening to:  Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Brookmeyer & Jim Hall - Western Suite (Atlantic, SD 1330, 1960, United States, lp,

July 23, 2023
Abas watched his crew fight and judged in the moment that they would fall to sheer numbers. He barked an order to the oarsmen in the rear, not yet engaged, to put down weapons and take up oars. "Hard reverse!" he bellowed. The splintered planks of the quadrireme clung to the bow of the Aetos. He called for a powerful stroke in unison. "Pull!" The Aetos jerked backward, momentarily dragging the Punic ship before tearing free amidst a snapping of wood. Aboard the Aetos, the isolated pirates were swiftly slaughtered. Their mates watched helplessly as the distance between decks grew.

written while listening to:  Themis Vasiliou - Solo Elektrik / Solo Electrique (Ramble Records, no catalog #, 2022, Australia, digital files,

July 24, 2023
The initial command of the pirate captain to resume oars and come about to avoid a second barrage was quickly abandoned as the severity of the damage from the first ramming became apparent. Water flooded the hull and the ship lilted at first gently then soon more precariously. Melanippe, who moments before had steeled herself for battle, watched in silence as the Punic vessel took on water and, within a matter of minutes, sank so that all but the starboard bulwark was submerged. Its masts formed a forty-five degree angle with the plane of the sea.

written while listening to:  Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost, disc 7 (Revenant, RVN 213, 2004 (rec. 1969 & 1970), United States, cdx10,

July 25, 2023
With the realization that their ship was lost, the pirates dove into the water and swam for the Aetos. They still possessed superior numbers and, in their trade, deemed one ship as good as another so long as it floated. Abas ordered the crew to row but desperate men in the water grabbed hold of the blades and shafts of so many of the oars that rowing became impossible. With pirates clambering up the oars to mount the deck, Hierax shouted, "To arms!" Like the many-armed attack of a kraken embracing the hull from below, pirates attempted to board the deck from all sides at once.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away... (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT11/mr05, 2014, Australia/Japan, cd,

July 26, 2023
Oarsmen jabbed with spears at clinging pirates. The Ethiopian lifted one man overhead and tossed him back overboard like an unwanted fish. Melanippe joined the line at the bulwark. A pirate, clambering up an oar reached the ledge and grabbed hold of her ankle. She aimed her spear at his chest, but he dodged at the last moment, causing her spearhead to instead graze the side of his neck. The gash proved sufficiently deep that he instinctively released both ankle and oar to staunch the flow of blood. He drifted from the ship, clutching his neck, to drown in red waters.

written while listening to:  Jacob Young - Evening Falls (ECM Records, ECM 1876, 2004, Germany, cd,

July 27, 2023
Voices of men adrift cried out in Punic and Berber but the Aetos soon left them to be claimed by the sea. Those who could rowed until the haunted lament of sailors doomed to watery graves fell silent in their wake. Theodoros, who had not engaged in combat, climbed from the stairwell to survey the blood-stained deck. Spotting Melanippe, he hurried to her. "How badly are you hurt?" She gave him a quizzical look until she realized that she was splattered with someone else's blood and her hand was unconsciously pressed against her neck.

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

July 28, 2023
The remaining bodies of the dead pirates were dumped into the sea without ceremony. Eight of the one hundred twenty Aetos oarsmen had been slain. Four more had suffered injuries too grievous to allow them to row. The medic bound their wounds, and lay them beside their fallen comrades on deck, where they were distinguished by occasional groans. Numerous men bore smaller cuts and scrapes. Left on deck were several pirate swords, both the leaf-shaped xiphos preferred by Carthaginians and the single-bladed flyssa of the Berbers. These the captain claimed as prizes, purchased with blood rather than coin, to be returned to Athens.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - The 80's Selected Concerts, disc 4 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 36, 2014 (rec. 1989), Germany, cdx5,

July 29, 2023
They rowed until mid-afternoon and came ashore early. By then, one of the four seriously injured crewmen had succumbed to his wounds. Fearing additional movement would cause more damage, the other three were tended to on deck. Nine graves were dug at the edge of the beach, where sand gave way to earth. Bion played a mournful dirge to guide the dead as they navigated through Hades to the Elysian Fields. An extra sentry was posted in the improbable event that any pirates had somehow survived and managed to follow them. This watch was not strictly necessary as few men slept well that night.

written while listening to:  Duke Ellington - Ellington Uptown (Columbia, ML 4639, 1951, United States, lp,

July 30, 2023
Remarkably, the Aetos had not sustained damage. The battering ram had performed exactly as designed, so they resumed their journey at dawn. In the ensuing days, they rowed with a short crew to Tingis. Before a week had passed, two more injured men died on separate nights, extending a lingering misery over their passage. Of any individual heroism or cowardice exhibited during the attack, no one spoke. Nor did any mention the fact that their lives had likely been saved not by the captain, ostensibly in command, but by the quick thinking of old Abas.

written while listening to:  Mario Pavone Dialect Trio + 1 - Blue Vertical (Out Of Your Head Records, OOYH 010, 2021, United States, cd,

July 31, 2023
Tingis awaited them. Theodoros described it from written accounts, rather than personal experience. The city rested on the southern lip of a strait bound by the two Pillars of Hercules, separating the continent of Libya from Europa to the north. East of the strait lay the Great Sea upon which they sailed, while to the west lay the unending Ocean of Atlas. Because the Aetos was charged with circumnavigating the coast of the Great Sea, they, like the fabled son of Zeus in his pursuit of the golden apples of the Hesperides, would travel no farther west than Tingis.

written while listening to:  Harry Bertoia - Sonambient Complete Collection, disc 9: Ocean Mysteries / Softly Played (Important Records, IMPREC419, 2016 (orig. 1978), United States, cdx11,

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