The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


October 1, 2023
Melanippe found that Massalia deserved its reputation as a city where the rigid constraints of society were loosened. Indeed, many men wore long, perfumed robes or tied their hair up in a fashion donned only by women in Athens. Residents shared a lax attitude with respect to formality. Certainly, Zosimus acted as if such behavior was utterly ordinary and beneath mention. They left the harbor to wander through paved streets. In a borough of open cafés where wine was sold from enormous bronze vessels, they sampled several scented varieties, some floral, some nutty until they were laughing in their cups.

written while listening to:  Thierry Mariétan - Krisis (Petit Label, PL 040, 2014, France, cd,

October 2, 2023
The day was yet young, so after a few rounds, Melanippe convinced Zosimus to continue the tour. She insisted that they visit the temple of Artemis. There she saw the goddess as the Ephesians prayed to her, not as the virgin huntress known to Athens, but as a source of fertility. The female statue bore an ordered array of a score of breasts upon her chest and a shapely figure reminiscent of forms in Thonis. Zosimus recounted the tale of Ionian Greeks fleeing Anatolia and founding Massalia. As Melanippe listened, she could scarcely believe that in the past few months she had visited these same places.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Incus Taps (Cortical Foundation, Organ of Corti 10, 1996 (rec. 1973), United States, cd,

October 3, 2023
Both Linus and Melanippe desired to see parts of the city that lay further from the shore, but their guide was not inclined to accommodate all their requests. Without explanation, he suggested alternate destinations, including a public park with a reflecting pool bound by shade trees and secluded grottos within gardens of peonies and purple thyme. In these idyllic settings, he hoped that his guests would forget their questions regarding his reasons for avoiding certain neighborhoods or the nature of those dwelling therein whom he wished not to meet.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Abandon All Words at a Stroke, So that Prayer Can Come Spilling Out, disc 1 (Alien8 Recordings, ALIENCD27, 2001, Canada, cdx2,

October 4, 2023
As she explored the city, the appeal of Massalia grew on Melanippe. She knew that she could not return to Athens; her selection in the lottery as a sacrifice to the Minotaur did not allow it. She began to eye avenues of stone houses as potential places to settle down and the people as prospective neighbors. The smell of rabbit stew wafted from a window and she yearned for home. "What is it like to live here?" she asked their guide. The musing behind the question was evident. Her query seemed to please Zosimus just as much as it alarmed Linus.

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Tutankhamun (Freedom, FLP 40122, 1974 (rec. 1969), United Kingdom, lp,

October 5, 2023
"Yes, Massalia seems a very pleasant port," said Linus to Melanippe, "but it is one of many on the Great Sea and not the last that we shall visit on the journey of the Aetos." Tipsy from the wine, Melanippe was in a provocative mood. "Perhaps, I am tempted to stay behind with Zosimus, grow my hair long and drink aromatic wines every day." Linus shook his head but it was the Massaliot who upended her daydream. "Alas," he said, "I have broken my labor contract and face arrest if I remain here. I am denied the comfort of returning home."

written while listening to:  Benjamin Vergara - The Impossibility of a Single Sound (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS018, 2023, United States, cd,

October 6, 2023
The lament of Zosimus for a lost home was, of course, also keenly felt by Melanippe. The alcohol put her in a maudlin frame of mind. The trio found another café and resumed drinking. In the conversation at the table there stirred an unpleasant undercurrent as the companions vied for the preferred favor of their friend. How much greater might the rivalry have grown had the two young men known the truth of Melanippe's sex! As it was, she listened to them bicker as homesickness and wine muddled thoughts of aiding Zosimus or finding her own home.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre & Vinicius Cajado - Storm Dance (Not Two Records, MW1035-2, 2023, Poland, cd,

October 7, 2023
On the following morning, Melanippe nursed a hangover as she accompanied Theodoros and the captain through the markets of Massalia. Besides the famed wine, the city offered a plethora of other fine goods and rarer commodities. At an apothecary, Theodoros advised the purchase of a traveling chest of medicinal plants the envy of any physician. They entered a shop devoted to amulets and pins inlaid with coral. Each item possessed a specific property—to repel ghosts, to deflect lightning, or to cure the sting of scorpions. The captain bought himself a silver necklace with a coral pendant that averted shipwrecks.

written while listening to:  Liberty Ellman - Last Desert (Pi Recordings, PI85, 2020, United States, cd,

October 8, 2023
At a cobbler's shop, they discovered a craftsman who had perfected the soles of sandals by using springy cork laminated between two layers of leather. The captain tried on a pair and declared them footwear worthy of the gods. For this sacrilege Theodoros suggested that he return to the coral shop and buy a brooch to deflect lightning, in case his claim incurred the wrath of Zeus. Melanippe would have smiled at the joke save for the ache that persisted in her temples. Gesturing toward his apprentice, Theodoros explained to the cobbler, "First time in Massalia."

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey & Steve Lacy - Outcome (Potlatch, P299, 1999 (rec. 1983), France, cd,

October 9, 2023
Melanippe spent the entire afternoon in the jeweler's ward. The captain was taken by a complete ensemble, rendered in gold, of a tasseled diadem, earrings, necklace, armband, bracelets and rings. The curves in each piece created a motif of vines descending from the brow down the body to the fingers. He haggled with the merchant but left the shop dissatisfied with the cost. Not ten steps out the door, he regretted his decision and ran back to pay the asking price. In the evening he sat on deck and doted over his extravagant find, reluctant to stash it away.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith, Milford Graves & Bill Laswell - Sacred Ceremonies, disc 3 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 003, 2021, Finland, cdx3,

October 10, 2023
Theodoros was cross with Melanippe. "You went out drinking with the deserter, didn't you?" Melanippe supposed that he referred to Zosimus but did not ask for clarification. He stomped off, muttering, "Harlot!" The logic of his position troubled her. He again appeared to her as the jealous husband, but it was he who was unfaithful to her. Moreover, she was Cimon the cartographer to all aboard the Aetos. Only the scholar ostensibly desired Cimon and that ardor had been thwarted. Rather than pity her awkward pretense, she considered herself fortunate to have maintained her delicate balancing act.

written while listening to:  Naked City - Torture Garden (Shimmy Disc, shimmy 039, 1990, United States, lp,

October 11, 2023
Reluctant to irritate the scholar further, Melanippe spent the next morning trailing Abas as he tended to minor damage on the ship. "It's your last day in Massalia," he admonished her, "Go enjoy it." She did not do as bidden but continued to provide unnecessary assistance. "Where are we next headed?" she asked. "Tharros." His reply surprised Melanippe for she thought that their plan was to faithfully follow the coast of the Great Sea. From Massalia they should continue down the peninsula to Italoi. She was more than a little disappointed for she had become attached to the goal of mapping the entire perimeter.

written while listening to:  The Julius Hemphill Sextet - Five Chord Stud (Black Saint, 120140-2, 1994, Italy, cd,

October 12, 2023
She asked Abas why they instead traveled to Tharros on the island of Sandalion. "We are a merchant vessel. We go where the money is," the white-bearded sailor replied, then appended, "Hemeroskopeion aside." Melanippe sighed. "There's no need to map Sandalion. Everyone knows what it looks like—the sandal for which it is named." Abas glanced up from his work. "Then I suggest you find a mapmaker in Massalia to sketch that part of the coast that you shall not see firsthand." This suggestion brightened her mood and she immediately took off with the map, neatly rolled and tucked under an arm.

written while listening to:  David Sylvian - When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima (Samadhisound, sound cd ss0011, 2007, United Kingdom, cd,

October 13, 2023
This was Melanippe's first attempt to consult another map since Theodoros had brought her to the antiquarian's shop in Tarsus. By asking around the market, she located a store reputed to possess a wide variety of sea charts. The proprietor, a man twenty years her senior, appeared suspicious that a young person showed interest in his maps, his usual clientele being much older. He heard her request but, before producing his wares, was dismayed to learn that she had entered his shop without any money. "I don't run a charity," he tersely informed her.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Trillium E, Act 1 (New Braxton House, NBH901, 2011, United states, cdx4,

October 14, 2023
The shopkeeper's attention was, however, piqued by the rolled-up parchment she carried. Seeing this, Melanippe struck a deal. "I seek only details of well-mapped shores but I have to offer in exchange coasts of rarely seen wildlands." Once the map was unrolled, the shopkeeper made no attempt to hide his delight. In a frantic tizzy, lest he lose the chance, he sent a son out to collect an artist. Within minutes, a gray-haired and pot-bellied man was ushered into the shop. Upon laying eyes on Melanippe's map, he experienced a kind of religious rapture and declared it no less than a work of art!

written while listening to:  Søren Kjærgaard, Ben Street & Andrew Cyrille - Syvmileskridt C Sides (ILK Music, ILK215, 2014, Denmark, digital files,

October 15, 2023
At first, those assembled refused to accept that the map was the work of Melanippe's own hand. She could only repeat her claim that she had drawn every line on the parchment during her travels on the Great Sea. She spoke with authority of Thonis on the Nile delta and the double harbor of Carthage until they had no choice but to believe her. Next, the proprietor attempted to purchase the map from her, but she insisted that the map was not hers to sell. Moreover, the journey of the Aetos was unfinished and her work incomplete.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker & Keith Rowe - Dark Rags (Potlatch, P 200, 2000, France, cd,

October 16, 2023
Melanippe and the artist, Aeolus, were led to a backroom. On one table, her map was laid out, while on a second table a fresh piece of parchment was fixed. The proprietor brought out several easels to display his best maps of the surrounding region, the Italoi peninsula, and the far side of Sandalion. The two cartographers worked side by side in silence save for abrupt, technical questions from one to the other, as they carefully copied the details of each other's maps. Thus passed one of the most enjoyable days of Melanippe's exploration of the Great Sea.

written while listening to:  Loren MazzaCane Connors & Jim O'Rourke - In Bern (hatNOIR, hatNOIR 803, 1999, Switzerland, cd,

October 17, 2023
When Melanippe returned to the Aetos that night, her expression was radiant. Theodoros was instantly suspicious but Abas knew the truth. When she revealed the cause of her joy, the helmsman adopted a mock displeasure and turned to Theodoros, "Now you've done it! You've turned a perfectly good lad into a scholar!" Henceforth, such shops became a favorite destination of Melanippe in every port that she visited. She never again neglected to visit mapmakers' shops but found something of interest even in humble stalls of modest repute.

written while listening to:  Takahashi Ayuo & Hiromi Ohta - Red Moon (Tzadik, TZ 7246, 2004, United States, cd,

October 18, 2023
Having weighed his options, Zosimus the deserter sat at an oar when they departed Massalia early the next morning. The Aetos followed the coast southeast. At the next sunrise, they left sight of land, rowing through-out the day then eating on deck and sleeping, as best they were able, on the rowing benches. During the second day at sea, the heavily wooded and mountainous form of the island of Kyrnos rose before them. The men rowed until they reached the shore at dusk. Having previewed the geography of their route, Melanippe filled in details on her map.

written while listening to:  Zeena Parkins, Mette Rasmussen & Ryan Sawyer - Glass Triangle (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1118, 2021, United States, cd,

October 19, 2023
Kyrnos served merely as a wilderness way-stop with a few small Phoenician and Greek outposts on the far, east coast. The Aetos passed several rustic settlements of indigenous tribes, centered about towering, stone menhirs. Abas continued the habit of directing the bireme to come ashore at uninhabited stretches of beach, for they had no business with the natives. Melanippe idly contemplated finding a home here, living among people intimately connected to the bounty of the forest at their backs and the sea at their feet. Just two nights did they spend on the island ere the mountains of Sandalion came into view.

written while listening to:  Dave Douglas - Convergence (Soul Note, 121316-2, 1998, Italy, cd,

October 20, 2023
Great black cormorants gliding amidst flocks of white terns greeted the crew of the Aetos upon their arrival at Sandalion. The sailors naturally claimed it as a good omen. Several days they traveled down the coast, passing more of the standing stones. Some of the granite towers, abandoned for centuries, had been reclaimed by the forest. About others, small villages remained. They made for Tharros, a Carthaginian colony, situated about a cove formed by a narrow strip of land more than a mile long. The natural harbor had long provided protection from storms to ships secured within it.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Settin' the Pace (Prestige, PRLP 7213, 1961, United States, lp,

October 21, 2023
Rounding a peninsula shaped like a narrow arm with a balled fist, the Aetos rowed along the outer barrier, making for the opening to the cove. Luminous, turquoise water filled the placid bay. Copses of masts rose from the decks of the many Phoenician merchant vessels moored along wide stretches of beach. Ashore, a rectangular array of stone buildings, reminiscent of Carthage, climbed the sloped bank. While others departed to explore Tharros the moment the quartermaster dispensed their pay, Melanippe spent another hour on deck adding minute details of the cove to her map.

written while listening to:  Das B - Canopy (TOΠOT, T408T, 2019, Russia, cd,

October 22, 2023
Zosimus and Linus waited for Melanippe. She encouraged them to leave without her because she did not want to be rushed, but already the unpleasant competition for her company stirred. She preferred to explore this new port in an atmosphere unspoiled by petty jealousies, yet subsequent admonishments failed to disperse them. She headed straight to the market, looking for a mapmaker's shop with hopes to shed both young men, as neither maintained any interest in cartography. She lingered so long at a stall with a few small sea charts, that eventually they drifted off.

written while listening to:  Stan Kenton - A Presentation of Progressive Jazz (Capitol Records, CD-79, 1948, United States, 10"x4,

October 23, 2023
Alone, she was able to investigate Tharros on her own terms. The Carthaginian influence was ubiquitous. She saw echoes of the Phoenician metropolis in the collection of languages on the street, the style of the garments, even the scent of the perfumed women whom she passed by. Just as Berbers roamed the streets of Carthage so too were the local natives of Sandalion to be found in Tharros. They were not distinguishable from Greeks by the color of the skin or hair, but their manner of dressing was simpler and their language unconnected to any known to Melanippe.

written while listening to:  Gnaarf - Stations (Ramble Records, RAM-120, 2022, Australia, digital files,

October 24, 2023
Her solitary survey ended when Zosimus spotted her on the street. He neither hid nor delayed his purpose, saying directly to her, "Tharros is a fine port. We can find jobs here for a spell, you and I, spend a pleasant time. In a few months, it will be safe for me to return to Massalia. You have seen for yourself, Massalia is the most wondrous city on the Great Sea. We'll go back and settle there." It occurred to Melanippe then that Zosimus had no regard for her interests. Rather, he lacked courage to set out on his own and desired a companion to accompany him.

written while listening to:  Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins - eponymous (Prestige, PRLP 7075, 1956, United States, lp,

October 25, 2023
Still, it was true that the appeal of liberal Massalia was not lost on Melanippe. Nor could she return to Athens. She did not dismiss Zosimus' offer on the spot. "Let me think about it," she said. The young man accepted this partial victory and offered to buy her a drink. She declined for she had wide swaths of the city yet beckoning her. Perusing avenues of homes at her leisure, she listened to mothers and grandmothers scold or tease their children. She sympathized with Zosimus for it was hard to make one's way alone in the world.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - I Wonder If You Noticed..., Sides C & D (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT21/mr07, 2016, Australia/Japan, lpx2,

October 26, 2023
Early the following morning, she set out with the captain and Theodoros to fill the holds of the Aetos with the treasures of Tharros. Phoenicians had developed a collaborative relationship with the natives of Sandalion to extract lead, gold and iron from the surrounding hills. Ores were excavated from inland mines, old and new. Refined metals were traded in Tharros to the benefit of both parties. Melanippe could not help but regard this partnership as infinitely superior to the hostility that existed between Greeks and native Iberians at the mines and furnaces of Hemeroskopeion.

written while listening to:  Gateway - Homecoming (ECM Records, ECM 1562, 1995, Germany, cd,

October 27, 2023
In his shop, a loquacious goldsmith expanded Melanippe's Punic vocabulary as he described with floral poetry the attributes of his delicate wares. In particular, the captain's attention was riveted to amulet cases, each small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. Cylindrical in shape, one bore the head of a lion, crowned by a daisy. Another appeared as a stone tower, capped by a crenellated parapet. When open, each revealed its prize: a magic spell written on a slip of parchment layered with gold leaf. Unable to resist, the captain purchased both. "It is my duty to procure the best treasures," he said.

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

October 28, 2023
So pleased was the captain at the end of his day of shopping that he treated Theodoros and Melanippe to supper. The meal consisted of lamb braised in garlic and olive oil beside a rich, Sandalion cheese served on bread. Nevertheless, the captain complained about the quality of the wine. After dinner, he stood to leave and, with a wink at the scholar, bid the pair to enjoy the rest of their night. Alone at the table, they sat in an awkward silence. Melanippe gazed at the stripped bones on the plate before her, while Theodoros surveyed the room for better company.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - Blended Box, disc 3 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 40, 2016 (rec. 2014), Germany, cdx5,

October 29, 2023
Their departure was delayed by the tardy delivery of lentils and other provisions for their journey. As the crew milled about the beach, waiting to board, Zosimus drew Melanippe off to an alley, leading into the city. She waited for him to speak. "Aren't we staying here?" he asked her. "I cannot stay," she replied, "Not just my word but my heart lies with the men of the Aetos." Though he harangued her mightily, she neither rebuked him nor fled. "Zosimus," she said, "you must find your own way. I wish you good fortune." Disappointed and angry, the deserter of Hemeroskopeion disappeared into the city.

written while listening to:  David S. Ware Quartet - Great Bliss Volume 1 (Silkheart, SHCD 127, 1991, Sweden, cd,

October 30, 2023
When the captain discovered that they were down to an odd number of oarsmen and that the missing crewman was none other than Zosimus, he turned, perhaps unfairly, to Melanippe, the only sailor befriended by the Massaliot. For admitting that she did not know his whereabouts, the captain cursed her. Brooking no further delay, he ordered the superintendents of the rowers to leave harbor immediately. He glared at his cartographer. "I'm still here," she reminded him, obliquely hinting that she had been asked to stay behind. The captain opened his mouth to berate her but was summoned by Abas as they rowed from the cove.

written while listening to:  Roland Kirk - Volunteered Slavery (Atlantic, SD 1534, 1969, United States, lp,

October 31, 2023
"You're still here?" asked Theodoros after they had come ashore further south on the Sandalion coast at the end of the day. The question, simmering since morning, burst from him and he continued, "What's that supposed to mean? Don't tell me that you were entertaining the idea of running off with the Massaliot." He then asked her directly, "Did he seduce you?" Melanippe gazed at the scholar not with astonishment but resignation. "What would it matter if he had? Can you truly play the role of the philandering husband who, finding his own pleasure outside the home, denies his wife the same fulfillment?"

written while listening to:  Harry Bertoia - Sonambient Complete Collection, disc 11: Bellissima Bellissima Bellissima / Nova (Important Records, IMPREC419, 2016 (orig. 1970), United States, cdx11,

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