The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


May 1, 2023
An hour before dawn, the Aetos glided silently out to sea. With gentle strokes, the oars slipped through the water. An orange sun rose behind them but no pursuit appeared on the horizon. There was little cause for worry since Egyptian barges were no match for the fleet Aetos. All the same, men periodically glanced sternward. Three hours passed before Theodoros emerged from his quarters and appeared on deck. If any were surprised to see him, they hid their emotions. Of his bruised face and swollen eye nothing was said. Even the most erudite scholars get in a scuffle now and then.

written while listening to:  Orchestre National de Jazz, Olivier Benoit - Europa Berlin (ONJazz Records, 434444, 2015, France, cd,

May 2, 2023
Theodoros understood that Melanippe would not have risked his rescue had there been a viable alternative. His abandonment by the captain and crew of the Aetos was implicit in her actions. As he stood upon the deck with sea spray in his face, he balanced the apathy of his crewmates with the undeniable reality of his freedom beneath a glorious expanse of blue sky. His careful accounting of the missing funds from his treasure box revealed the extent of his worth. It took great restraint for him to swallow the loss and refrain from taking Melanippe to task for not bargaining more frugally for his release.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Solo Guitar Series: Filmed (Incus Records, Number 4, 2003, United Kingdom, cdr,

May 3, 2023
A longing for the company of Cimon drove Linus to find a way free of the crew's bullying. On the second day out of Thonis, he added a new song to his repertoire. To this tale did the men row with rapt attention. He sang of the scholar's visit to the brothel. He praised the winning smile and lithe figure of the companion whom he found therein. He described the devious machinations of the port administrator in seizing their translator. To the beat of the oarmen's stroke, he called out each of the soldiers' heavy blows upon Theodoros' head.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Light And Darkness Melting Into One Vibration (PSF Records, PSFD-8017, 2003, Japan, cd,

May 4, 2023
Melanippe and the scholar listened to the tale unfold in a state of astonishment. Like the rest of the crew, they had no forewarning of the ballad. A story-teller at heart, Linus embellished the account to please his audience. In his version, he and Cimon armed themselves, not with gold, but spears to effect the jailbreak. His song praised the training of Hierax that they should have the nerve to attempt an armed operation. None aboard the Aetos doubted the excess in his retelling of the pitched battle that two sailors waged against a horde of guards but they relished the song all the same.

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Kabalaba (AECO Records, AECO 004, 1978, United States, lp,

May 5, 2023
Having smashed down the door of the scholar's cell, the trio raced through the shadowed streets of Thonis. With calculated intent, Linus sang of the moment when the scholar begged his rescuers to pause for a moment, though not to allow the heavier man to catch his breath. Instead, he asked them for a detour by the establishment where he had left his lovely Egyptian blossom, so that they might finish their interrupted dalliance. Sympathetic to lusty sentiments, the hundred twenty oarsmen erupted with hoots of approval. The superintendents of the rowers shouted them back to order.

written while listening to:  Santiago Bogacz & Emiliano Aires - Retrato Años Después (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1150, 2023, United States, cd,

May 6, 2023
Over the next few days, "The Romp of Theodoros in Thonis" was revisited several times by popular request. The Aetos passed a Phoenician merchant galley headed eastward but no signs of pursuit ever materialized behind them. Melanippe regretted the shallowness of her exposure to Egyptian culture. She had dreamt of visiting the great sphinx and seeing the mountainous pyramids with her own eyes. Although some knowledge of geography is expected from a cartographer, she did not have any means to know that the necropolis of Kher Neter lay more than forty leagues inland along the Nile.

written while listening to:  Théo Ceccaldi Trio + Joëlle Léandre - Can You Smile? (Ayler Records, AYLCD-136, 2013, France, cd,

May 7, 2023
The song of Linus strangely raised the esteem in which all three of the protagonists were held aboard ship. The fact that their scholar was capable of poor judgment narrowed the perceived distance between him and the crew. That their singer, alone upon the Aetos, had volunteered for the mission vouched safe his courage and manliness in their eyes. That their scrawny mapmaker should lead the expedition compensated for Cimon's general uselessness, sitting as he did beside the easel while the rest of the men labored at the oars through-out the day.

written while listening to:  Hafez Modirzadeh - In Convergence Liberation (Pi Recordings, PI55, 2014, United States, cd,

May 8, 2023
The Aetos traveled along the northern coast of the land known to the Greeks as Libya. Theodoros explained to Melanippe that the name came from the Berbers, itself a collective term that Greeks used to describe numerous tribes and kingdoms scattered along this land. "Of course," he said, "each clan and realm have their own name for themselves, just as do Athenians, Spartans and Ionians." "And do you also speak the Berber tongue?" Melanippe asked, fully anticipating no bounds to his knowledge. The scholar shrugged, "There are many dialects. I hope to manage one well enough to make do."

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy, Andrea Centazzo & Kent Carter - Trio Live (Ictus Records, ICTUS 0005, 1977, Italy, lp,

May 9, 2023
The scholar's admission that he neared the limit of his linguistic knowledge impressed upon Melanippe how far they had ventured from the comforts of civilization. To complicate matters, by evening ominous clouds had gathered on the western horizon. At the captain's suggestion, Abas directed them to come ashore early, thinking that the storm might pass by them overnight. However, in the light of the morning sun, the slow pace of the clouds was revealed. With limited provisions, they had little choice but to continue toward their next destination, regardless of what weather awaited.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets, disc 4 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 005, 2022, Finland, cdx7,

May 10, 2023
A headwind blew against them and the sails were furled. The map and easel were stowed in the scholar's quarters. Particularly strong gusts briefly countered the progress of the stroke of the oars. The seas grew rough; the caps of waves crested over the gunwale, washing across the deck and soaking the oarsmen. Melanippe who had been proud of having avoided seasickness was finally put to the test. Focusing her attention on the distant coast failed to stave off nausea. Into the sea she vomited while a wave rose up and, battering the Aetos, soaked her to the skin.

written while listening to:  PainKiller - Execution Ground, disc 1 (Toy's Factory, TFCK-88731~3, 1995, Japan, cdx3,

May 11, 2023
Her fear then was not that she should be tossed overboard if the galley fell from a swell at an awkward angle but that the peplos, given her by goatherd's wife on Crete, now sopping wet, should reveal her feminine form. Quickly pulling the heavy fabric from her chest, she smiled ruefully. It seemed absurd that she should be less afraid of death than the truth of her sex. The form of her relief was equally absurd; the sky darkened and the rain came in torrents, diminishing the vision of all.

written while listening to:  World Saxophone Quartet - Live At Brooklyn Academy Of Music (Black Saint, BSR 0096, 1986, Italy, lp,

May 12, 2023
The Aetos had chosen to begin its journey in early spring, thus conducting most of its travels during the summer, when storms on the Great Sea were fewer and generally milder than in winter. Still, the possibility of an occasional squall remained a possibility. The storm that now engulfed them proved to be no minor summer shower but a true tempest, with winds that whipped up the seas to a frenzied state. The waves threatened to capsize the bireme, despite its size. In plaintive voices, men beseeched Zeus, god of thunder, to control his fury.

written while listening to:  Ákos Rózmann - Tolv Stationer / Twelve Stations (1978-2001), disc 5 (Ideologic Organ, SOMA021, 2014 (rec. 1999), Austria, cdx7,

May 13, 2023
In the tumult, one oarsman rose to his feet and, climbing to the deck, called upon the gods for mercy. Abas and both superintendents ordered the man back to his seat, not only that he might do his part to preserve the galley but also for his own safety. However, their warning came too late. Melanippe, drenched and huddling in the stairwell, watched as a fist-shaped wave reached onto the ship and snatched the man into the water. His prayer of supplication abruptly silenced, he disappeared instantly, as if he had never been counted among their number.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Composition N. 169 + (186 + 206 + 214), disc 2 (Leo Records, CD LR 320/321, 2001, United Kingdom, cdx2,

May 14, 2023
The gods were not immediately assuaged by the sacrifice of the oarsman, for the storm continued to rage. It seemed untenable that each moment fraught with peril could be strung together into hours, through which the crew of the Aetos fought to keep the ship aright. Abas remained stoic, shouting orders to the steersmen to orient the vessel so that no wave impacted its broad side. As one, the crew endured a day and a starless night until the storm lost interest in them, leaving the Aetos motionless upon a placid pane.

written while listening to:  Epli (Oda Dyrnes & Tyge Jessen) - Epli (Epli Sounds, no catalog #, 2023, Denmark, digital files,

May 15, 2023
Many oars were broken in the storm and the Aetos limped to shore. Exhausted mentally and physically, even the most experienced seafarer among them breathed deeply when they stood upon solid ground. Some like the veteran Hierax were no stranger to the death of a comrade. For others, Linus included, the sudden loss of the oarsman had no precedent. Melanippe had abandoned her friends to their fates in the labyrinth; she knew not whether they lived or had died. The inarguable disappearance of the sailor shattered the ambiguity that death had held for her.

written while listening to:  Fred Frith & Evan Parker - Hello, I Must Be Going (Les Disques Victo, VICTO CD 128, 2015, Canada, cd,

May 16, 2023
Melanippe discovered that Abas served not only as helmsman but also as master carpenter. Tools that had been stowed in the hold were brought forth: axes to fell trees, drawknives and chisels to shape the wood into oars and hammers to replace planks in the hull that had split in the stress of the storm. Too heavy to haul entirely from the water, the Aetos was pulled as far ashore as possible. At low tide, Abas set the men to work repairing the ship. Not one but two nights did they find a reprieve from the whims of the capricious sea.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke & Eddie Prévost - Third Straight Day Made Public (Complacency, CPCD9302, 1993, United States, cd,

May 17, 2023
During repairs, Melanippe and Linus made themselves useful wherever they were able. The pair lay out the sails to dry in the welcome sun. They hauled the trimmed branches of sumac and lalob trees from the hills down to the beach. All worked expeditiously for, under good conditions, the trip from Thonis to Cyrene would span a dozen days and they had yet to pass the midpoint. Alone among the sailors, the captain and Theodoros remained idle, the first ostensibly overseeing the work and the second diligently maintaining the reputation of scholars.

written while listening to:  Lukas Ligeti - Mystery System (Tzadik, TZ 7099, 2004, United States, cd,

May 18, 2023
As for Bion the flautist, who accompanied the chants of Linus, he was scarcely younger than Abas but, despite his years aboard ship, he retained a loner's temperament. He contributed to the work only so much as to avoid rebuke. Unlike Melanippe's mentor, he found no special calling in the training of his protégé. At sunset on the first night, without any prompting, Bion played a solitary dirge for their fallen crewmate, lost to the sea. The sun's last rays skittered over the surf to the long doleful notes before slipping beneath the dark waters.

written while listening to:  Anna Kaluza & Jan Roder - Am Frankfurter Tor (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1140, 2022, United States, cd,

May 19, 2023
With the galley whole again, their journey to Cyrene continued. Melanippe resumed mapping the northern coast while Theodoros intensified her lessons in Hittite, Phoenician, Egyptian and, occasionally, Berber. A strict tutor, he admonished her sharply when she failed to recall correctly the lesson of the previous day. He began to speak to her only in foreign languages, switching between them until she caught his meaning. Never had a student known so persistent a teacher as did Melanippe upon the deck of the Aetos. He taught her to curse and to proclaim, "The captain is a buffoon," in each language.

written while listening to:  Oliver Lake - Prophet (Black Saint, BSR 0044, 1981, Italy, lp,

May 20, 2023
Without further incident, the crew traveled the remaining hundred leagues to Cyrene. The settlement was founded by Greeks from Thera, an island in the Aegean Sea, when their agriculture began to fail. Theodoros explained that the Aetos would put in at the port of Apollonia, with their destination lying a full day's hike to the southwest. "We shall find some bulk goods already transported to the harbor for trade. However, many treasures are only available in Cyrene itself. The captain intends to leave the ship with Abas and a skeleton crew while we venture inland."

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - The John Coltrane Quartet Plays (Impulse!, AS-85, 1965, United States, lp,

May 21, 2023
The port of Apollonia possessed two harbors: a central cove, accessed by a straight, narrow canal, widened by human engineering, and a more open eastern inlet. The Aetos put in at the latter, the hasty flight from Thonis still fresh in their minds. While the port served as a maritime entrance to Cyrene, there were indications of its growing independence. Within sight of the docks, a temple was under construction. Segments of marble columns, shipped from distant Euboea, were stacked beside the foundation, a sign of the enduring alliance with the Greek homeland.

written while listening to:  Spill (Magda Mayas & Tony Buck) - Stockholm Syndrome (Al Maslakh, MSLKH 13, 2011, Lebanon, cd,

May 22, 2023
A row of several sizeable buildings erected on raised stone platforms served as granaries, safely out of reach of storm surge. Along this lengthy stretch of coast, Apollonia was often relied upon to supply provisions for merchant ships. Before departing for Cyrene, the captain arranged to replenish the reserves of the Aetos, which had been sorely reduced after the delay incurred while they had repaired the ship. Fearing another storm, he purchased a surplus of both wheat and barley. Business was conducted with Greek residents, though many Berbers were observed trading and working in the port.

written while listening to:  Thelonious Monk - Solo Monk (Columbia, CS 9149, 1965, United States, lp,

May 23, 2023
In appearance, most Berbers displayed complexions darker than Greeks, tanned from constant exposure to the Libyan sun. Men and women wore similar full-length robes. Some men wrapped turbans upon their heads, though, when asked, Theodoros could not provide Melanippe with an explanation as to why other men did not. She passed one local with vivid blue eyes, a sign that the Berbers were not immune to the mingling of peoples drawn to the Great Sea. They traveled the route to Cyrene on foot, save for the captain, who rode one of the camels hired to otherwise transport goods.

written while listening to:  Jürgen Augusteyns - Can We Go Now? (Ramble Records, no catalog #, 2022, Australia, digital files,

May 24, 2023
Ranks of palm trees lined the road to Cyrene, as if sentinels flanking their passage. As they drew near the colony, tilled fields appeared stretching out to great distance on both sides. Laborers tended to their work and paid the caravan little mind. The city itself was situated in a lush valley, centered about a spring. Where the slope was too steep for farming, herds of sheep and goats grazed. Truly, Melanippe regarded fabled Menelaus' account of Cyrene as the bread basket of Libya, a land never short of grain, milk, meat or cheese.

written while listening to:  Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost, disc 5 (Revenant, RVN 213, 2004 (rec. 1966), United States, cdx10,

May 25, 2023
The men were set loose in Cyrene though warned to be ready, come morning, to serve as porters, should the captain acquire more than the camels could bear. Ordinarily, only Melanippe accompanied Theodoros as he surveyed the markets, identifying goods to show the captain on the morrow. Given the distance between the port and Cyrene, the captain joined them for this part of the excursion, purchasing a variety of fine wares on the spot. Among the treasures were several bundles of dried yellow flowers—silphium, said the scholar, the miracle medicine of Cyrene, both powerful aphrodisiac and abortifacient unparalleled.

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

May 26, 2023
They visited a tattoo shop, where sailors lined up to have their biceps and forearms adorned with an assortment of images. Some men chose to be decorated with a female form, either the face of a wife or the sensuous body of another lover. Three friends agreed to be inked with matching silhouettes of the Aetos. Still others chose abstract glyphs representing a favored god or goddess. Theodoros suggested to the captain that he get a rabbit, a proposal met with a gruff harumph. Though intrigued, Melanippe also declined, fearing that an artist who touched so much as her arm would recognize her as a woman.

written while listening to:  Enrico Rava - Easy Living (ECM Records, ECM 1760, 2004, Germany, cd,

May 27, 2023
Her thoughts still on the tattoo shop, Melanippe was surprised to discover that she had followed the scholar and the captain to the slave market. There she discovered that the captain intended to purchase a replacement oarsmen for the poor soul swept out to sea. They entered a pen, lined with dirt where more than a dozen people crouched in close proximity to share the scant shade of a stunted olive tree. Half were men and the rest women and children. All appeared to be Berbers save one black man, ostensibly from Ethiopia, so claimed the Greek slave trader.

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

May 28, 2023
Ethiopia was the fabled southern ends of the Earth, no less than Anatolia was the eastern boundary where rose the sun. Having dispelled the latter myth, Melanippe was inclined to regard the former as another mortal realm lying outside her current exploration. Regardless, the impeccable blackness of the man's skin was beyond dispute. Perhaps he had been born close to the sun, as the legends claimed. Tall and powerfully built, he betrayed no sign of resignation. His black hair was cut close and he was garbed in a deer skin wrapped about his waist.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - The 80's Selected Concerts, disc 2 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 34, 2014 (rec. 1985), Germany, cdx5,

May 29, 2023
While slavery existed in Athens, Melanippe had never visited a market or witnessed the human transaction. She did not know to avert her gaze from the eyes of the slaves as they observed the merchant discussing their qualities with a would-be master. In whispers, two women debated the good and bad of sailors, weighing their imagined future against their current, wretched plight. The sacrificial victims to the Minotaur were selected from noble families; thus the house of Melanippe owned enslaved servants, who, though without rights, were treated fondly. She feared the captain did not embrace compassion.

written while listening to:  Ornette Coleman Trio - Live at the Golden Circle Stockholm Volume Two (Blue Note, 84225, 1966, United States, lp,

May 30, 2023
Theodoros approached the black man, asking him if he spoke Berber. He nodded ever so slightly; it was a second tongue. "Will you pull an oar at sea?" asked the scholar. "There are no slaves aboard the Aetos. You will row as a free man and, upon arrival in Athens, depart a free man, your purchase price rendered as service en route." The towering man did not understand all of these words, spoken in an unfamiliar dialect, but he was eager to leave the pen. A master that spoke to his slaves was better than one that communicated solely by rod.

written while listening to:  Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra - Holothuria (Aut Records, AUT027, 2016, Germany, cd,

May 31, 2023
The captain paid for a meal and a room in Cyrene for the newly acquired oarsmen. "What if he should flee in the night?" Melanippe asked. "Better that he desert us now than when we have come to rely upon him." In truth, the captain and the black man understood his limited options and the real probability of being recaptured should he run away. In the morning, he appeared among the ranks of sailors at the head of the caravan departing Cyrene for Apollonia. His fellow oarsmen did not bother to ask his name but dubbed him "Ethiopia".

written while listening to:  Harry Bertoia - Sonambient Complete Collection, disc 8: Swinging Bars / Vulcans Play (Important Records, IMPREC419, 2016 (orig. 1978), United States, cdx11,

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