The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


November 1, 2023
"I am the master," Theodoros reminded her, "and you the apprentice." She could not determine how seriously he intended those words. Though he did not smile, it was hard for her to imagine that he uttered them with complete sincerity. Nevertheless, she placated him saying, "Master, I have not been unfaithful to you." This reply seemed to embarrass him, for he then said to her, "I do not begrudge you a love of your own, but you can do better than that deserter! I worry for poor Linus." At these words, Melanippe's eyes widened in genuine surprise mingled with disbelief.

written while listening to:  Frédéric Norel - Dreamseekers (Mélisse Music, mel666006, 2009, France, cd,

November 2, 2023
Melanippe had no confidante but the scholar, who knew already her most precious secrets—that she was a woman and an Athenian tribute escaped from the labyrinth of King Minos. She told him what she could tell no other. "I, who have never known carnal love, do not seek it now," she said in a whisper as she leaned her head against his neck. "The only embrace I crave is that of my mother, Agathé, and my father, Borus, and my younger sister, Clio." The scholar sat silently on the beach and allowed her wayward tears to flow down his shoulder.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Domestic & Public Pieces (Solo Guitar Improvisations 1975-1977) (Emanem, 4001, 1995 (orig. 1975, 1976 & 1977) , United Kingdom, cd,

November 3, 2023
The Aetos rounded the southwest corner of Sandalion and headed east. Two nights beyond the sight of land did they spend at sea as they crossed the gap to Sikelia. On still, midnight waters, Melanippe lay on deck listening to the breathing of the crew and observing the slow wheeling of stars overhead. At one point during this passage, Melanippe's map confirmed that the closest landmass to their present position was the Libyan coast not far from Carthage. Rough seas battered the boat at sunrise and the men cheered on the third day when the rocky coast of Sikelia appeared on the horizon.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Abandon All Words at a Stroke, So that Prayer Can Come Spilling Out, disc 2 (Alien8 Recordings, ALIENCD27, 2001, Canada, cdx2,

November 4, 2023
They traveled in a southeasterly direction along the coast of Sikelia as they made for Syracuse. Smaller settlements, such as Kamikos, they passed without stopping, so sure was the captain that nothing of interest would be found there. Melanippe would have been shocked to know that King Cocalus of Kamikos sheltered the architect Daedalus, he who had designed the labyrinth for King Minos and been imprisoned within it. He had escaped with his son on artificial wings, though Icarus perished in the attempt, and the father arrived grieving in Kamikos.

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Urban Bushmen, sides A & B (ECM Records, ECM 1211, 1982, Germany, lpx2,

November 5, 2023
That Melanippe should meet another escapee from the Cretan labyrinth in her travels was too much to be imagined. In years to come, the maniacal King Minos, learning of Daedalus' presence in Kamikos, would pursue him there. Three beautiful daughters of King Cocalus, who called Daedalus their tutor, sought to protect him. Once their father persuaded the tyrant to pause his hunt for a relaxing bath, the daughters stole upon him and, through alluring distraction, chained him in the tub. Flames were kindled and King Minos met a gruesome but fitting demise as he was boiled alive. So would end the reign of Minos.

written while listening to:  María A. Valencia - Compendio De Alofonías Abisales (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS024, 2023, United States, cd,

November 6, 2023
Oblivious to the historical role of Kamikos, Melanippe mapped its coastline with her usual fidelity. When the Aetos came ashore that night, a flock of yellow-legged gulls hovered over them, filling their camp with a cacophony of deep, strident kyahs! Linus, not Melanippe, wondered what message the birds so insistently tried to communicate. Perhaps their chorus held no purpose but to express their displeasure at having to share their personal stretch of paradise with the great number of men who issued from the ship. Certainly, come morning, no lament sounded when the gulls bade them farewell.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre & Rodolphe Loubatière - Estampe (Confront, core 36, 2023, United Kingdom, cd,

November 7, 2023
Several more days did the Aetos follow the southern coast of Sikelia. The hours passed without incident and Melanippe welcomed the absence of Zosimus, who no longer prodded her to act against her will. Instead, she sought again the familiar company of Linus and the Ethiopian. The singer shared new verses of the epic tale of their journey, which he would perform in Athens. The Ethiopian, taciturn as ever, listened and occasionally nodded or smiled, while his eyes stared out to the distant horizon. If he dreamt of home, no one could know.

written while listening to:  Dan Weiss - Fourteen (Pi Recordings, PI52, 2014, United States, cd,

November 8, 2023
They spent one night on the southeastern-most tip of Sikelia, followed by a hard day of rowing against headwinds north to Syracuse. The harbor took the form of a natural cove a mile wide and twice as long. The bay, shaped like a two-lobed pea pod, faced the sea to the east, where the upper half was blocked by the Islet of Ortigia, upon which much of Syracuse was founded. A fortress, bound by sea walls, watched the entrance to the cove. From atop these walls, Greek soldiers hailed the Aetos with cheers of welcome.

written while listening to:  Alvin Curran - Maritime Rites, disc 1 (New World Records, 80625-2, 2004, United States, cdx2,

November 9, 2023
Space was made for the Aetos to dock at the wharf on the bay side of Ortigia, a privileged mooring reserved for merchant vessels from which the port authority hoped to extract healthy profit. Planks were extended from the seawall to the deck of the ship. The harbormaster himself came out to greet the captain. He spoke in the Doric dialect of Crete, which induced in Melanippe a keen anxiety; they had entered Greek lands and would not leave them again. Soon she must devise a plan to quit the Aetos for she could not return to Athens.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet - The Year Of The Elephant (Pi Recordings, PI04, 2002, United States, cd,

November 10, 2023
While the Aetos had not quite achieved celebrity status, rumor had reached Syracuse that a ship had been dispatched from Athens months prior to circumnavigate the coast of the Great Sea. Keen was the curiosity to see and indeed acquire some of the marvelous treasures surely stored in her hull. The captain was feted by the self-proclaimed local king, a petty tyrant known mostly for his hostility toward Phoenicians and his aspirations to rival Athens as a center of culture and trade. Theodoros urged the captain to tread carefully lest their ship be seized over some perceived slight.

written while listening to:  John Zorn - Kristallnacht (Eva, WWCX 2050, 1993, Japan, cd,

November 11, 2023
Melanippe had not been invited to the king's residence, so she was free to explore Syracuse. She began her tour on Ortigia with Linus by her side. The small, flat island was filled wall to wall with buildings constructed of limestone blocks, chiseled and hauled from a local quarry by slaves. The Temple of Apollo was singularly magnificent, for marble columns surrounded the entire, rectangular perimeter. These pillars had been imported by boat from Greece, there being no marble on Sikelia. The presence and design of the temple captured the vain desire of Syracuse to emulate and surpass even Delphi.

written while listening to:  David Murray - Sun/Moon, sides A & B (JMI Recordings, JMI-10, 2023, United States, lpx2,

November 12, 2023
Linus brought her to the Fountain of Arethusa, a natural spring in the center of Ortigia. Clear water formed a pale mirror in a stone-lined pool upon which the clouds and, briefly, their own faces were reflected. Linus said, "The nymph, Arethusa, bathed in a stream in her homeland of distant Arcadia, where she was espied by a river god, Alpheus. He desired her despite protests that she was chastely devoted to Artemis. Hearing her pleas for protection, the goddess hid Arethusa first in the clouds then later underground, transformed as a stream, which has surfaced here in Syracuse."

written while listening to:  Tyshawn Sorey & Alarm Will Sound - For George Lewis (Cantaloupe Music, CA21172, 2021, United States, cdx2,

November 13, 2023
Linus' story of the origin of the spring did not prompt a response from Melanippe. "What's wrong?" he asked her. She did not know how to share her fear of returning to Athens without revealing the secrets of her status as a tribute to Crete not to mention a woman. Instead, she dissembled, claiming she was concerned about the accuracy of her map. She needed to visit a local shop with maps of Syracuse, in order to get the contours of the bay correct. Linus agreed to accompany her, though he plainly sensed her subterfuge.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Trillium E, Act 2 (New Braxton House, NBH901, 2011, United states, cdx4,

November 14, 2023
The city of Syracuse extended north across a narrow channel separating Ortigia from the larger island of Sikelia. During daylight hours, the municipal government maintained a ferry service. Melanippe and Linus found this district much the same, for the terrain was flat and limestone plentiful. They proceeded along the array of orderly streets, until they were directed to a scholar's home that doubled as a shop. As in Massalia, the proprietor viewed Melanippe skeptically. She was forced to return with her own map and barter, knowledge for knowledge.

written while listening to:  The Barefoot Collective - Shoeless and Shameless (Barefoot Records, no catalog #, 2023, Denmark, digital files,

November 15, 2023
It bothered Melanippe that praise was lavished upon her map of the Great Sea, when her true masterpiece, the map of the Labyrinth, was stashed in Theodoros' closet on the Aetos. She supposed that she should find some relief in having been forced to forfeit her rights to the parchment, since it would have been impossible for her to ever publicly share it. "What's wrong?" Linus asked again, as they strolled in the dusk light through the streets of Syracuse. "I cannot return to Athens," she confessed in a rush, before immediately regretting her words.

written while listening to:  Matthew Shipp & Evan Parker - Leonine Aspects (Rogueart, ROG-0108, 2021, France, cd,

November 16, 2023
She could not tell Linus the reason, though he inquired several times, ceasing only when it became clear that his question distressed his friend. "Where will you go?" he asked her, "Athens is the culmination of our journey." Melanippe shrugged, "I don't know." She turned and continued walking with Linus trailing behind her. "I still have some time to decide," she mumbled to herself. She thought of the scholar's words and wondered if Linus had known that she was a woman whether he might have been prompted to leave with her.

written while listening to:  Zoviet France / Jim O'Rourke / The Hafler Trio - Unentitled (These Records, THESE 11 CD, 1995, United Kingdom, cd,

November 17, 2023
On the following day, Melanippe accompanied the captain and Theodoros as they visited the markets and shops of Syracuse. The captain was not in high spirits. During yesterday's interview with the king, he had been forced to part with several minor acquisitions from their journey in exchange for goods, which, while exquisite in detail, were nevertheless derivative of art from the Greek mainland. She had seen the amphora that he received in trade, expertly decorated with Dionysus frolicking beside a satyr on the front and Poseidon conversing with Nike on the reverse. Melanippe privately regarded the captain's fretting as misguided.

written while listening to:  Chien-Yin Chen - Purr (Tzadik, TZ 7091, 2003, United States, cd,

November 18, 2023
Absent local marble, the artisans of Syracuse had perfected working in terra cotta. The trio observed many life-sized statues of gods and goddesses. The captain was taken by a set of smaller figurines depicting actors from a tragedy first performed in the theater of Athens then, proving popular, exported to the colonies. He purchased the set and, as they were wrapped for transport, he showed the characters one by one to Melanippe—Jason, Argus, Orpheus, Heracles, Medea and King Aeetes. "I loved this play," he exclaimed. He considered it a blemish on her character that she had not been to see it.

written while listening to:  TiPPLE - Cartoon Heart (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1091, 2020, United States, cd,

November 19, 2023
The local sculptors had also elevated terra cotta reliefs to a fine art. They entered shops in which every available surface was covered by scenes depicting horses racing, armies clashing or lovers entwined. A pair of panels told the story of Archias, founder of Syracuse. He had fled Corinth after killing Actaeon, son of Melissus, for rejecting his advances. The city's founding father was slain by Telephus, a native son, in revenge for having been subjected to Archais' predation when he was but a boy. This work the captain bought, thinking it emblematic of the inherent flaws of the colony.

written while listening to:  Archie Shepp - Little Red Moon (Soul Note, SN 1112, 1986, Italy, lp,

November 20, 2023
The captain had his scholar and cartographer join him for dinner, though his mood did not prompt him to pay for their meals. "Word of our journey is known through-out the Greek colonies," he told them. "I fear that in every town we visit, our prizes from distant ports in Libya and Iberia shall be the cause of envy. Each petty lord shall seek to whittle away at our treasures before we reach Athens." Gnawing on a mutton leg, Theodoros nodded in agreement. Nor did Melanippe offer any words to soothe the captain's worries on this matter.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Coltrane (Impulse!, AS-21, 1962, United States, lp,

November 21, 2023
On the following day, Melanippe was privy to a conversation between the captain and his helmsman. They discussed the route to Sparta. "How many ports will we have to visit if we follow the coast as planned?" Abas described their route up the east shore of Sikelia, along the Italoi peninsula, then taking the short crossing—less than a day of rowing—to the Greek mainland, arriving at the mouth of the Aoös river near the trade colony of Apollonia. As each segment of the journey was revealed, the captain's expression grew increasingly dour.

written while listening to:  Etienne Nillesen & Nicola Hein with Eve Risser, Magda Mayas & Marta Warelis - Piano Trialogues (Creative Sources, CS 624 cd, 2019, Portugal, cd,

November 22, 2023
The captain barked at Abas, "If we take that path, we shall be robbed of all our goods before we step foot in Athens. Let us depart Syracuse directly for Sparta!" Abas attempted to dissuade him, saying, "That's three days rowing and three nights spent on uncertain seas. The men won't like that." "Damn the men," exclaimed the captain, "The triumph of our voyage relies on bringing home the treasures in our hold intact. We shall make directly for Sparta." At these words, Melanippe blanched, receiving a sharp rebuke from the captain for her apparent cowardice.

written while listening to:  Dizzy Gillespie - Groovin' High (Savoy Records, MG 12020, 1955 (rec. 1945-1947), United States, lp,

November 23, 2023
Later, Melanippe confided to Linus the captain's decision. "I thought that I had time to make a plan," she whispered, "but Sparta is our last stop before Athens." Linus offered little consolation. In his defense, the Aetos had been at sea for many months and he was not alone among the crew in anticipating a welcome reception. They all had families waiting for them at home, either parents and siblings or wives and children. He did not allow Melanippe's troubles, the particulars of which she had refused to share, diminish his excitement.

written while listening to:  Luciano Bagnasco - Procesos Cruzados (Ramble Records, RAM-0041, 2023, Australia, lp,

November 24, 2023
After a few inquiries, Melanippe made her way to a seaside tavern where sailors looking to take on with ships gathered. Upon entering, she observed the crowd of men, rough and leathered. That they resembled her own oarsmen of the Aetos did not forestall her momentary unease at entering their den. Barks of coarse laughter or shouts of outrage rose and fell like the cries of gulls. How had she fallen in with men of this kind? How had she allowed these men to become her boon companions and saviors? She muscled her way up to the barkeep.

written while listening to:  Sonny Rollins - Volume 1 (Blue Note, BLP 1542, 1957, United States, lp,

November 25, 2023
"I'm looking for a ship in need of a scholar," she shouted over the din at the one-eyed barkeep. Appraising and dismissing her with a quick glance, the man turned to the next customer, pouring him another drink. "I've sailed to Tyre, Thonis, Carthage and Tingis. I speak Hittite, Punic, Egyptian and Berber. I am an excellent cartographer." The barkeep paused then casually pointed toward a far corner, where sat a pair of men interviewing a line of would-be sailors. Before leaving the bar, Melanippe bought a flask of stiff wine and gulped half of it to bolster her courage.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - In The Past Only Geniuses Were Capable Of Staging The Perfect Crime..., Sides A & B (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT50/mr09, 2019, Australia/Japan, lpx2,

November 26, 2023
She stood at the end of the line, surveying the dimly lit bar scene. Scattered about small tables, men passed the hours in dissipation and gambling. As her gaze skimmed over a dark corner of the tavern, to her surprise, her eyes met those of the Ethiopian. Though he did not gesture for her to join him, she abandoned her place, crossing the room to take a seat beside him. Embarrassed to have been discovered seeking to leave the Aetos, she did not speak. Her discomfort was misplaced since the Ethiopian had come to this place for the same purpose.

written while listening to:  Chick Corea & Gary Burton - Crystal Silence (ECM Records, ECM 1024, 1973, Germany, lp,

November 27, 2023
Melanippe made small talk, asking her companion his opinion of Syracuse. The Ethiopian lifted his cup and drank before answering. "Their barley tea is poor. On the other hand, they have quite a talent at getting impressive results from slave labor." In their respective tours, both visitors had seen laborers bearing limestone blocks into the city. She supposed that it made a greater impression on one who not so long ago had been held in bondage himself. She wondered if it was possible for him to distinguish the virtues of Greek culture from the fruits of its oppression.

written while listening to:  Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker - Mulligan/Baker, sides A & B (Prestige, PR 24016, 1972 (rec. 1951, 1952 & 1953), United States, lpx2,

November 28, 2023
"Do you know the reputation of that captain?" asked the Ethiopian, nodding toward the man enlisting crew. Melanippe shook her head. "Did you choose to join the Aetos with so little care?" She answered pointedly, "I had no more choice in the matter than did you." "You are no longer a helpless refugee," he told her with a sternness in his voice, "You control your own destiny." He had already spoken to several sailors in the room. With this information, he dissuaded Melanippe from signing onto the crew of a notoriously unscrupulous captain.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - Blended Box, disc 4 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 41, 2016 (rec. 2010), Germany, cdx5,

November 29, 2023
Melanippe and the Ethiopian drank together a while longer. Each took what company they could from the presence of the other amidst the crowd of sailors. Evening approached, changing the scene little. Lured by women, men disappeared for brief spells before returning to their table with lighter purses. It would have surprised them both to hear that they were left undisturbed because the unusual pairing of a scrawny but winsome scholar and the warrior from beyond the shores of distant Libya was known to be counted among the crew of the Aetos on its journey seeking profit, and therefore ostensibly not for hire.

written while listening to:  David S. Ware Quartet - Great Bliss Volume 2 (Silkheart, SHCD 128, 1991, Sweden, cd,

November 30, 2023
And so it came to pass that two days later, both Melanippe and the Ethiopian found themselves aboard the Aetos as it began what many crewmen regarded as an ill-advised attempt to cross the Ionian sea straight to Sparta. As Abas had predicted, the men grumbled over the prospect of spending three nights sleeping at their rowing benches. The helmsman gave no indication of his earlier opposition to the route but said instead to the oarsmen, "I suppose you hoped your long holiday spent sleeping under the stars on sandy beaches, dreaming of lithesome Nereids, would never end!"

written while listening to:  Susan Alcorn, José Lencastre & Hernâni Faustino - Manifesto (Clean Feed, CF637CD, 2023, Portugal, cd,

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