The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


March 1, 2023
In the city center, the stone of the buildings had been worked into rectangular blocks, giving the impression of a more orderly district. The main plaza was dominated by a huge, granite monument of a man, standing upon the back of a winged and horned lion. The pair paused before it to take in his stern expression and the lion's fierce mien. "Sandas," said Theodoros, "patron god of Tarsus." "What is his domain?" asked Melanippe. "War, plagues, the depends on who you ask and what they need," he replied. "Hittites grant their gods more flexibility than do Greeks."

written while listening to:  Orchestre National de Jazz, Olivier Benoit - Europa Paris, disc 2 (ONJazz Records, 424444, 2014, France, cdx2,

March 2, 2023
Theodoros led her to the shop of an antiquarian who had accumulated an impressive collection of goods, all containing the written word in languages from around the world. The elderly shopkeeper recognized Theodoros and greeted him warmly in Hittite. He responded in kind, astonishing Melanippe with his fluency. The dealer showed off new acquisitions: parchments with illustrated script, papyrus with hieroglyphs from Kemet, and clay tablets carved in relief. Equally appreciative of these treasures, both proprietor and patron relished each other's company. "This is my favorite place in Tarsus," a beaming Theodoros declared to Melanippe.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Solo Guitar Series: South (Incus Records, Number 2, 2002, United Kingdom, cdr,

March 3, 2023
At Theodoros' request, Zuwa the antiquarian brought out two maps, showing Crete, the Dodecanese Islands and Kuprus. "These are the best charts he has. Commit them to memory. When you go back to the ship, fill in the features on the far sides of the islands on your map." When she protested, he bought a small scrap of parchment from Zuwa, who allowed her to trace on the spot the shape of the islands in question." They left with Theodoros promising to return on the morrow with the captain to purchase items required to complete the mission of the Aetos.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - So, Black is Myself (Alien8 Recordings, ALIENCD 003, 1997, Canada, cd,

March 4, 2023
The crew was granted the first day of landfall for their own purposes, so Theodoros acted as tour guide until evening. They spotted members of the Aetos mingling with other sailors outside taverns and brothels. Not yet sufficiently oriented to set out on her own, Melanippe accepted Theodoros offer to join him for dinner at an inn. Over mutton with cheese and bread, the scholar told her of the Hittite law, known as the Code of the Nesilim. "Interestingly, the law permits intercourse with slaves, horses, mules and foreign women, but prescribes death for sex with oxen, dogs, pigs, mothers, daughters and sons."

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris, sides C & D (Rogueart, ROG-0122, 2023, France, lpx2,

March 5, 2023
Theodoros plied her with wine then invited her to a paid room. Certainly, she had known this advance was coming. She declined and he insisted. He did not initially resort to threats. "Did I not enable your flight from Crete?" "You did," she admitted, "for which I gave you my map." "Have I not been a gracious host today?" "You have, but..." He interrupted her, saying "The law does not prohibit the pleasure of two men." Her reluctance was no less deniable than his desire. "Cimon, do you not wish for me to continue to serve as your benefactor?"

written while listening to:  Sakina Abdou - Goodbye Ground (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS013, 2022, United States, cd,

March 6, 2023
Melanippe accompanied him to a small room with a single bed. By lamplight, he undressed. Sitting, he patted the mattress beside him. Yet clothed, she sat beside him. He loosened her belt. He slid his hand over her thigh, beneath the fabric, until it probed between her legs. He paused. "You have no penis." He probed further. "You have no testicles." He concluded with immense disappointment, "Cimon, you are equipped with the vagina of a woman." Melanippe judged this observation to need no reply. Theodoros withdrew his hand and slumped over, lying with his leg resting against her back. Soon, the room was filled with drunken snores.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre - Live In Israel, disc 1 (Kadima Collective, KCR 17, 2008, Israel, cdx2,

March 7, 2023
Apparently, Theodoros chose not to reveal the secret of her sex to the crew of the Aetos. Perhaps, he feared reprimand for having brought a woman aboard ship, a notoriously inauspicious act. Or, she suspected that he might hold the secret over her as leverage until some advantage arose. Her stomach swam in circles. When she boarded the ship, Abas examined her ashen face. He did not ask what happened, for all on board knew the true purpose of Theodoros' so-called apprentice and all mistakenly assumed the union had been consummated with some modest impact on their young cartographer.

written while listening to:  Jen Shyu & Mark Dresser - Synastry (Pi Recordings, PI39, 2011, United States, cd,

March 8, 2023
Melanippe worked on her map. She was adamant that the lands, which she had seen with her own eyes, be distinguishable from those that had been rendered based on second-hand information. She accomplished this difference through the thickness of the lines of ink and with subtle shading. She explained the technique to Abas who stroked his white beard thoughtfully then nodded in approval. The opinion of the captain would have to wait. He was out shopping with Theodoros and the quartermaster, bartering for some items with spare goods in the hold and buying others outright.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy & Andrea Centazzo - Scraps (Ictus Records, ICTUS 189, 2020 (rec. 1976), Italy, cd,

March 9, 2023
As she worked, Melanippe caught herself in a reminiscence of Theodoros. Young people often have awkward and regrettable first sexual encounters. We might assume that Melanippe viewed this episode in much the same light. However, she had mixed feelings. It was true that other maidens might have suffered poignant emotional distress at having been so utterly rejected upon the investigation of the most intimate features of their bodies. All things considered, Melanippe supposed that, given her unique circumstances, things had gone just about as well as she could have hoped.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets, disc 2 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 005, 2022, Finland, cdx7,

March 10, 2023
Throughout the day, stevedores loaded and unloaded cargo from the Aetos. The famed iron tools of the Hittites were bundled in cloth, hidden from view. None but the captain and Theodoros knew that one unassuming box contained a masterfully crafted necklace of gold pomegranates and silver snails. With their hold filled with exotic fare—some destined for the vaults of their patron in Athens and others intended for trade in foreign ports before they arrived home—the Aetos departed Tarsus. The sun rose far to the east, dispelling the myth of Anatolia as home to the dawn.

written while listening to:  Naked City - Radio (Avant, AVAN003, 1993, Japan, cd,

March 11, 2023
They rowed south along the well-traveled coast. On the second day, they encountered the first of several merchant galleys headed in the opposite direction. Each ship drew much interest from the crew of the other. Upon initial sighting, the captain shouted for a sharp-eyed sailor to climb to the deck and identify the vessel. By an image of the eagle of Melkarth hanging from the deck was the boat recognized as Tyrian. This news brought relief. They entered Phoenician waters. Ubiquitous traders, vessels from Tyre were a common sight upon these seas.

written while listening to:  Julius Hemphill & Peter Kowald - Live at Kassiopeia, disc 2 (No Business Records, NBCD 35-36, 2011 (rec. 1987), Lithuania, cdx2,

March 12, 2023
By mutual agreement, the two galleys steered well clear of each other. After it passed from sight, Melanippe asked Abas, "Why was everyone so nervous about that ship?" He smiled at the cartographer's naïveté. "Not all ships at sea are well-intentioned. Should we run afoul of pirates, all would have to throw down their oars and take spear, sword and bow in hand to defend the Aetos with their very lives." Their tense reaction served as Melanippe's introduction to the reality of piracy outside mariners' tales. Certainly the well-marshalled seas about Athens were kept free of such predators.

written while listening to:  Ákos Rózmann - Tolv Stationer / Twelve Stations (1978-2001), disc 3 (Ideologic Organ, SOMA021, 2014 (rec. 1999), Austria, cdx7,

March 13, 2023
Overhearing their conversation, the captain approached Melanippe and said, "You too would have to set aside your quill and take up arms. What is your preferred weapon, spear or sword?" The fact that he questioned her martial skill while wearing his rabbit-fur sunhat was not lost on the men. "I have no fighting experience," she admitted, deeming truth the best course in a matter where a lie could be easily disproven with lethal consequences. "We'll have to get you trained," he shouted, "you and the singer both!" From across the deck she exchanged a quick glance with the youth who sang the rowers' beat.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Solo (Koln) 1978 (Golden Years Of New Jazz, GY 17, 2002 (rec. 1978), United Kingdom, cd,

March 14, 2023
By and large, sea-faring traffic of all nationalities kept to the coast. At night, each helmsman sought a landing separate from other crews. Melanippe asked Abas why the Aetos avoided other ships. He gazed over the crew on the beach. "These are good men. Still, if you mingle two hundred sailors from one ship with as many from another, there will be at least three brawls before the sun rises." Unsolicited, Theodoros added, "If you are impatient to see the handsome men of Tyre, you won't have to wait long for that is our next port of call."

written while listening to:  Emanuele Maniscalco, Francesco Bigoni & Mark Solborg - Foil (ILK Music, ILK281, 2018, Denmark, lp,

March 15, 2023
Unsurprisingly, Melanippe developed an obsession with her map. In the labyrinth, her map not only had represented a potential means of escape but its construction had been intimately tied to her every step. Aboard the Aetos, the parchment again became a refuge into which she poured every iota of her attention. In return the map provided her purpose and peace of mind. By her hand did each stretch of limestone cliff and each cove lined with rocky beach take on a miniature life. All who gazed upon the map praised Cimon and congratulated Theodoros on his excellent powers of discernment.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker & Misha Mengelberg - It Won't Be Called Broken Chair (psi, psi 11.07, 2011, United Kingdom, cd,

March 16, 2023
Spring crept into view. The vibrant green of new oak leaves dotted the darker canopy of firs and pines that covered the coastal slopes. Noisy gulls gathered in numbers overhead. They squabbled with each other, crying "Yeah, yeah!", as they impatiently anticipated the mating season still a month off. Abas pointed out the whiskered tern and the cross-shaped shearwater. Melanippe listened though such details were not captured in her map. In fact, she desired tutoring in something other than birds, if she was to use this voyage as a springboard to strike out on her own.

written while listening to:  Günter Müller & Jim O'Rourke - Slow Motion (For 4 Ears, CD 514, 1994, Switzerland, cd,

March 17, 2023
Nor did she desire to be tutored in fighting, but that night, as the fire danced on the beach and its reflection lunged for the moon with each pulse of the surf, she and the singer had their first lesson in the use of spears. Hierax, an oarsmen who had served several campaigns in the Athenian army was selected to instruct them. His manner was gruff but practical. His ridicule of their poor form was ostensibly meant to teach them. That it also belittled them seemed a natural consequence of military training. Watching them spar, he clapped sarcastically. "Cimon and Linus, you fight like two girls!"

written while listening to:  Jenny Scheinman - Shalagaster (Tzadik, TZ 7709, 2004, United States, cd,

March 18, 2023
Melanippe's interest lay in language, particularly that of the Phoenicians who rivaled the Greeks in their establishment of colonies on the coast of the Great Sea. On the following morning, with the sails unfurled to catch a favorable northerly breeze, she asked Theodoros, "What do you know of Punic?" The wind ruffled his curly hair as a smile flitted across his face. "It was my mother's native tongue. It came as quite a shock to my father, a man of good Athenian stock, when the first words from his son's mouth were not salutations in proper Greek!"

written while listening to:  Benjamín Vergara, Keefe Jackson, Jim Baker & Phil Sudderberg - The Hallowed Plant (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1073, 2018, United States, cd,

March 19, 2023
Seven days they traveled to reach Tyre. The city spread from the mainland onto an island about two thousand feet off the coast. During low tide, paths emerged connecting the two districts. The island possessed two natural harbors, facing north and south, both inaccessible to a ship with the draught of the Aetos, which beached on the mainland in the city outskirts. At the highest point on the island, the gilt roof of the temple of Melkarth, god of the city, rose on impressive columns and reflected a brilliant, solar glare. Melanippe averted her gaze after but a glance.

written while listening to:  The Jimmy Giuffre 4 - Dragonfly (Soul Note, SN 1058, 1983, Italy, lp,

March 20, 2023
Melanippe accompanied Theodoros into the shoreside district. She had never seen such a proliferation of multistory buildings; apartments topped both homes and shops. They passed a few structures with a third level. "Clever devils, these Phoenicians," agreed her guide. Along the way, she peppered him with requests for translations of passing people and objects in both Punic and Hittite, to make up for the lost opportunity in Tarsus. "Merchant, woman, hunting dog, ivory, idol..." She repeated all the strange syllables carefully, filling the scholar with the pride that many teachers feel at the achievements of a prize student.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - First Meditations (Impulse!, AS-9332, 1977, United States, lp,

March 21, 2023
Melanippe also observed why the Greeks called the Phoenicians the "red men". While they resembled Hellenes in facial structure and stature, the tone of their skin spanned shades of bronze with some exhibiting distinctly ruddy hues. Garbed in loose tunics and sandals, the women of Tyre strolled in pairs, chatting freely. One might allow her black locks to hang loosely down her shoulders while her friend sported a coiffure of intricate braids held close to the scalp with pins and strips of colorful cloth. Theodoros led her through the city, promising to show her something truly emblematic of Tyre.

written while listening to:  Great Waitress (Laura Altman, Monica Brooks & Magda Mayas) - Hue (Another Dark Age, ADA006, 2016, Australia, lp,

March 22, 2023
He led her to the south beach. As they approached, an acrid stench polluted the air and assaulted their senses. From a bluff, the pair found a crowd of several hundred men cracking open the shells of one particular species of sea snail. Seemingly inured to the odor, each worker pulled fresh shells from one basket and discarded the fragments into another. They extracted the mucus and gathered it on a drying plate. Others were designated to fill and empty the baskets. "It takes eight thousand snails to make a single gram of the famous Tyrean Purple dye."

written while listening to:  Archie Shepp - Yasmina, A Black Woman (BYG Records, 529.304, 1969, France, lp,

March 23, 2023
Holding a fold of her peplos over her mouth and nose, Melanippe asked, "Is this dye on the shopping list of the Aetos?" "Of course it is," replied the scholar. "Our sponsor has charged us with assembling a collection of the most exotic and most precious goods from all the lands that border the Great Sea. This purple is worth twenty times its weight in gold and we have brought much gold with us." Theodoros lingered in the stink of the dye manufacturing; he wanted the cartographer to never again see a fine purple gown without the memory of its noxious origin.

written while listening to:  Ernesto Diaz-Infante - Radio Broadcasts: Summer Of The Arrival, 2008 (Ramble Records, no catalog #, 2022 (rec. 2008), Australia, digital files,

March 24, 2023
As their first day in Tyre drew on, Melanippe turned to a sensitive subject, which she could no longer postpone. "Take me to an apothecary." Theodoros' cast a worried glance at her. "Are you ill?" "It is not an illness for ordinary women," she answered, "but to maintain my charade, I must tend to it." At a pharmacy, she observed his native fluency in Punic. The discussion lasted a full ten minutes, during which time Melanippe understood nothing. Soon, the elderly man directed them to his wife, who produced a single dose of an herbal powder that would suppress menstruation for a month.

written while listening to:  Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost, disc 3 (Revenant, RVN 213, 2004 (rec. 1966), United States, cdx10,

March 25, 2023
Hoping to avoid revisiting this particular problem every month, she asked Theodoros to request a year's supply. After some haggling, the woman emerged with a bulkier pouch of material. Melanippe had with her the modest wages that she had received for the seven days of labor since their departure from Tarsus, but it was insufficient to cover the larger amount. An accomplice to her deception, Theodoros was obliged to pay the difference. "You shall have to make it up to me," he said in Greek as the old couple watched the curious pair depart the shop.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - In a Flash Everything Comes Together as One; There is No Need for a Subject, sides C & D (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT05/mr02, 2011, Australia/Japan, lpx2,

March 26, 2023
Theodoros and Melanippe returned to the Aetos, pausing along the way at a well, where Melanippe took the first dose of medicine and washed the bitter taste from her mouth. Aboard ship, Theodoros led her below deck to his "quarters". Given the tight confines at sea, his room was little more than a storage closet. A man could sit inside but not stretch out on the floor. The various paraphernalia of a scholar were stored on shelves. Theodoros placed her pouch beside a neatly folded scrap of parchment. Her labyrinth map! As if reunited with a long-lost friend, she found herself in the ridiculous position of fighting back tears.

written while listening to:  John Abercrombie - Night (ECM Records, ECM 1272, 1984, Germany, cd,

March 27, 2023
The two stood in the doorway, shadowed from the dim light filtering down the stairwell. The ship was vacant, a pair of sailors were stationed on the beach guarding the ship. "When I first came aboard," said Melanippe, fixing Theodoros with a steady gaze, "the deck officer told me I would bunk with you in your quarters." She gestured at the closet. "I didn't know then that sailors slept on the beach." Theodoros smiled. "He said that just to frighten you." In an indication of her growing familiarity with the scholar, Melanippe admitted, "It worked."

written while listening to:  Sun Dog (Isabelle Duthoit & eRikm) - Col Des Tempètes (Crónica, 192-2022, 2022, Spain, cd,

March 28, 2023
That night, Theodoros insisted on dragging her out to a brothel, serving clientele with his particular sexual tastes. In response to her protests, he said, "We must maintain appearances." She sat on a divan beside him, a thin, young man among many such men, effeminate and powdered. The scholar selected a shockingly young companion, leaving Melanippe alone in the lobby. The proprietor kept a suspicious eye on her, lest this comely newcomer deprive him of business. Melanippe did her best to look as irritable and uninviting as possible.

written while listening to:  Galactic Unity Ensemble - We Have Always Been Here (JMY, JMY04, 2017, United States, cd,

March 29, 2023
On the following day, the scholar and the quartermaster led the captain through the shops, warehouses and walled storage lots of Tyre. The merchants' hopes of exploiting the foppish captain were quickly dashed once Theodoros entered as interpreter. His knowledge, not only of the Phoenician language and customs, but also of the market value of the goods that they sought, was impeccable. He loved to talk and, though bartering was not his favorite subject, it was nevertheless one in which he could hold his own. Included in their acquisitions was a set of polished silver shekels, their sponsor being something of a numismatist.

written while listening to:  Oscar Peterson - Piano Solos (Mercury, MG-C106, 1950, United States, 10" lp,

March 30, 2023
Melanippe toured the city on her own. She took advantage of the low tide to cross by foot to the island district of Tyre. There she circled, though did not enter, the Temple of Melkarth. She found beside it a smaller shrine with statuary of a fierce woman, naked and flanked on each side by lionesses. Trying her limited Punic, she asked a passerby, "Who is she?" She received in reply a name, "Astarte", goddess of both sexuality and war. Her language was inadequate to further explore Tyre, so she happily did not learn this city was the birthplace of Europa, mother of her captor, King Minos.

written while listening to:  Milt Hinton, Wendell Marshall & Bull Ruther - Basses Loaded! (RCA Victor, LPM 1107, 1955, United States, lp,

March 31, 2023
With the purple dye, cedar boxes and linen of Tyre stowed away, the crew of the Aetos set off early the next morning, following the coast further south. Even as she studied the features of the shoreline, Melanippe could not deny the growing sensation of freedom. With each league she put between herself and Knossos, the fact of her escape from the labyrinth appeared increasingly irrevocable. Entwined with this liberty was loss. The distance from her family in Athens also grew and her hopes of ever being reunited with them commensurately diminished.

written while listening to:  Harry Bertoia - Sonambient Complete Collection, disc 7: Continuum / Near and Far (Important Records, IMPREC419, 2016 (orig. 1978), United States, cdx11,

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