Meanwhile, on Twitter

To celebrate the completion of my hundredth song I will be posting them all on Twitter, @lesserdevil.  Spamming is not cool, so "whitnall lesserdevil" songs will be interspersed between tracks released by record labels.  With the help of a scheduler it should only take a couple of days.

Curiously, there are tracks on Archive that bear my name but which I can not edit, and I have only had one account there in my since its origin.  Most of them have little or no sound.  At the time, Archive and *nix machines did not always function splendidly together.  My best guess as to their origin is that compatibility problem.  It bugs me that I can't get my name off of them, so I will very likely file a complaint with the staff of

The later Romantics were heavily characterized by a fear of minute accomplishment, a point even Byron made once or twice, if not in so many words.  My contribution to the arts can still make me feel small and unnoticeable, despite a lifetime spent in pursuit of truth and beauty.  This is the best I can do at the moment to dispel such melancholia and replace it with joie de vivre.

When I started producing work under the umbrella of Lesserdevil Publishing the species of manta ray bearing that name had not yet been discovered.  It's a glorious thing that my work is in a small way linked to such a beautiful creature; beautiful and dangerous.  Humanity could be described in much the same way.  The name meant little to me before then, just something that would pop on a search engine and stir thought.  Life is amazing.
*Post will likely be updated before the tweet-a-thon is finished.

Another Friday Night in Crazy Land

My name is Lester.  Friends came in from out of town.  I knew both of the girls, even if neither would ever admit it.  The girls wore light costumes and dainty masquerade masks.  One was "Mary," and the other one "Allison."  I know for sure who Allison really is, 100% certain of her real name, her address, her family.  I've been communicating with her regularly for 13 years.  "Mary" swears she did not leave her home, near Memphis, all weekend.  I did not know the guys at first, but then I recalled having met one of them on somebody's sofa in Oxford one weekend during a college football marathon that resulted in the burning of the couch for public safety reasons.  They did show their faces, except on camera; they didn't then because they just don't have the cojones some of us do.
The girls said, "We have a surprise for you.  You said it is impossible to humiliate you, right?"  I said, "It is impossible to humiliate me."  I am fuzzy on details leading up to the "performance," but we had discussed this in some detail before the event, which was supposed to be a party. The girls and I and one of the guys all snorted small rails of what was supposed to be [redacted].

Here's what did happen, regardless of what you might hear from the folks who don't live here in Mississippi:  We did a piece of performance art with the help of a couple of friends.  It was called "Military Discipline."  There was no nudity, although it was meant to convey a strangulating sense of homo-eroticism.  Making people feel uncomfortable for the sake of art may not be the most popular way to broaden an audience' awareness, but nobody can deny that it is powerful   Any skeptical about the truth of my story need only check out the "injuries" I sustained:  They could not have been self inflicted, although the damage to my knees was.  But beyond that, also, there is a public record of what followed, scant and dishonest though it may be.
We took pictures during the ~thirty minute performance.  We also filmed it, although in light of the events that took place I am not surprised almost nobody will admit to their involvement, and a copy of the video has not yet been made available to anyone.  I was NOT drinking, which, as anyone who knows Lester can tell you, is a very good thing.  It means there were no casualties.
We were all did some [redacted] on [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted], but that was just in preparation for the doing of the art that followed.  It was supposed to just end after the ridicule and beating and electrocution.  There was a small crowd of people gathered around us outside, just people who showed up after it started.  I said nothing and made no sound at all until the last few minutes.  The guys initially were caning the dickens out of me as I dropped to my knees on the concrete and did crunches by leaning backwards over my calves, about a hundred times.  After that they switched to electrocution, so as not to turn me into a cripple.  They were also unleashing this scathing master-slave bullshit routine I wasn't really paying too much attention to... by that time I was trying to do pushups, and old Lester isn't too good with pushups anymore.  The Taser batteries ran out anyway...
I am almost positive it was Allison who said, "Fuck!  Stop!  Just fucking stop!  Let's go inside..."  A couple of people clapped.  A couple of people were muttering about, "Sick motherfuckers."  We moved inside.  Both chicks asked me if I was okay.  And the guy who was shouting all the homosexual S&M stuff especially wanted to know if I was really hurt.  He said, "I did not want to really hurt you.  It's all just a show."  They were especially concerned by my bloodied knees, which have no skin left on them.
Everything went horribly wrong when we went inside.  Like I said, I was extremely altered.  The nice guy was my puke partner from the  Ole Miss pukeathon.  The other guy I did not know.  He said, "Are you ready for round two?"  He grabbed Allison, put a gun to her head, and said, "Now you're going to put that mouth of yours to work or I am going to blow her brains out."  Nothing sexual happened, just to clear the air about that off the bat.  What did happen is a couple of people were closing on the guy with the gun, and I made a mad dash for mine.  People started yelling, "Lester, it's a fake gun.  It's not real."  But I had him at gunpoint before that hit me. 

Doing something like that to an honest-to-God Clemson almost-graduate when he's loaded out of his mind is never a good idea.  But the situation defused instantly when some dickless wonder shouted, "I called the police."  I wound up calling too, right after I sprinted next door and hid the real gun.  I wanted to get my name down as one of the people concerned by what happened, instead of someone who had perpetrated a crime, because that is the truth of it.  As is always the case in these small towns, some of the good kinfolk showed up with their own guns, just at the wrong time, but they all managed to vamoose like the explanations they had thrown together for why they had the guns in the first place.  Everyone else was bailing like rats on a sinking ship.  More than a few people there had shown up with several small balloons of [redacted] and even [redacted], which as we all know carries a huge penalty in this neck of the woods.
I waited to talk to the police.  It was my house.  Somebody had to.  I have no doubt that some of my memories of what happened may be clouded, to the extreme, but, like I said, Allison was there.  I am positive "Mary" was there too.  She's just too frightened out of her wits by what happened to admit it.  I have the injuries.  I have even a slight corroboration from my brain-dead drunken uncle, although any leading question thrown at him will lead him in any direction the questioner desires.
Blissfully the police treated it as no big deal, since everyone they spoke to said, "Yeah, there was somebody with a gun, but he took off."  Also, no shots were fired, except a .22 somebody outside had, which everyone knew did happen, but I played it off as a pellet gun.  They told me to keep the noise down and have a good night, after a good 20 minutes of investigation.  Then all five cop cars in the county went home to some television and good chitlin lovin'.  Can you believe somebody asked me what is in chitterlings the other day?  I told them, "Well, I hope it 's Lady Chitterlings lover, and nothing foul play."

I do not want to glorify it or sound egotistical, so I am not going to discuss this until I have other people to help take credit and/or blame.  But basically I got the shit beat out of me, electrocuted to the point of crisp, and  I didn't make a sound until the last few minutes, and only then because the exercise was too much for me in the condition I am in.  I'm a backwoods soldier.  Yep.  That's right.  

I honestly did not feel any of the strikes to my back or legs or abdomen.  I did feel the pain of the wrecked knees toward the end.  It was not meant to freak people out, although more than a few of the town hens were upset when they heard about it.  "Lester! Lester, when are you gonna get right?" 
The girls did not came back, but I remember that they did.  I had a miniature-massive breakdown when they took off.  I had been waiting to get Mary alone for months and months, you know, to talk, and stuff.  The fact that it all went to shit sort of sent me over the edge.  But one thing about being on [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted] is that it is very easy to fantasize someone is there, even when they ain't.  Then Sunday night I went to sleep, and Monday morning I knew I had to tell the world:

"Crazy Land:  It's always open, it's just that nobody ever admits they have been there."

Pocky Loves Pain

“I was born to give this to you.” A woman’s voice echoed through darkness. The layers of sound coalesced and expanded, engraving vibrations into permanence.


A man lay prostrate on the floor, dreaming, all of the world’s gravity pulling down upon his awareness. Sound roared and gurgled in his ears. It was the bottom landing of a dwelling that climbed at first around the base of a tree, but then branched to a self-supporting structure. Beneath him were polished timbers of redwood, and the walls were logs separated by handmade glaze. Above him a black spirit hunter cast words down upon him.

“The flies come. They are seeking. They bring the bubonic plague.”


John F. Kennedy, shot several times, including once in the head, pulled himself out of the car and yanked out his own Colt 1911 A1. He saw a man on a grassy knoll, who tried to run. Stunned, the secret service were unable to react before the President of the United States shot the would be assassin. JFK struggled up the knoll and shot the man six more times, including once in the face.
“That’s for Cuba,” he said.


A black cat called, “Medic!”

Stepped from the floor onto a living man’s chest

Drooped low upon his form

Weight sinking, meowrled, “Wyvern”

And scanned the shadows for the players yet to meet death.

“Doom,” said the presence.

“Begone,” thought the finite ridden man.


Lengthening shadows in the canyon outpaced the two riders on horseback. Far up on a ledge an archer with only one arrow looked down upon the figures. She recognized both of them – the two men who killed her only son. She focused on the one she recognized, the one who betrayed her entire race. She drew the bow and arrow, aimed and closed her eyes. She let the arrow fly. It hit the man she recognized right through the left eye and pierced into his brain, and he slumped over onto his horse. The other man cackled and rode on.

When the archer opened her eyes she saw the unharmed man look back over his right shoulder. He still had a grin on his face when someone distant, on the other side of the canyon, threw an atl-atl that went straight through his rib cage. There was no way to gauge the distance, but she saw blood bubble out of the rider’s mouth. He was no longer smiling when he fell off the horse and died, slowly, gurgling in his own villainy. At that moment the archer knew him as well. He was the twin of the man she hit.

She looked back at the other horse, that had slowed to a stop. That man fell off of the horse and rolled down the short incline to the water’s edge at the bottom of the canyon. She saw an eagle in the southwest, and decided it was best for nature to decide if that man lived or died.

The fine young woman looked at the 200 meters back up the cliff and loosened herself for the ascent. She was famished and couldn’t wait to eat the unleavened bread she had stowed at the top. The moon was already rising before the sun set, and it was good time for a climb. The people in the mountains 175 miles to the west would be gladdened to hear of her revenge.

With the Surinam desert glimpsing the colors of the sky, the warrior on the other side of the canyon watched his grandmother’s shadow closing over the climber he could not see. He took the flinger for the atl-atl and reattached it to his Mannlicher before briskly hiking up the canyon to where his children were finishing spit roasted duck, fresh from the Igloo. He managed to smile before he reached the top, and then his smile broadened when he saw his little girl and boy. Their step mother’s smile did not sit well with him, but he knew what had to be done before he started down.

The glow of the campfire warmed the man, but the feeling in the pit of his bones was something he doubted would ever go away. He was glad he had not seen the face of the man he killed, and saddened he knew the one he had seen riding before. The kids and the woman went deeply asleep as he continued to stare at the fire and wait for dawn. Occasionally he fed the flames while they slept in the tent. The crackle of the fire warmed his face. The melancholy would lift with time.


Pocky Feels Pain

Dreams of empire swirled in the drain of the sink in the hunting club. By the time Roger woke up Saira had gone, and everyone else. He couldn’t remember falling asleep in the bed, but a nightmare had plagued him. On the window he could see flakes of snow sticking to the panes of glass, and the whispers of a knowledge too disgusted to cause despair. He shaved with freezing cold water and a dull razor blade and no soap, to wash the feeling of the night terror out of his mind, but it did not work. He missed Saira, just as he had known he would.

In the dream he saw a woman behind Saira and her companion the day before, a woman had not previously been there. With her was a man of pure darkness without flesh. Stars swirled through his form as he commanded the invisible woman, who was deathly pale, to feel about her posterior nethers and lick of the still clean finger.  She had done so, and though hygenic of body, the lingering foul influence caused madness to dance in midair.

The continuum of reality bent and warped around that spectacle, not because she had tasted something so basic, but because the entity had commanded her to in order to thrust Roger into a self-fulfilling prophecy of misunderstood language. Roger had done nothing wrong. He was neither married nor a father. Though his thirst for pleasure sometimes consumed his senses there was nothing dishonorable or ill about the humanity of that simple state of male essence.  The vision caused conflict that was difficult to reconcile.


Roger saw Ian three days before he went to the hunting camp. Ian was one of his close friends from the Academy. Neither of them had ever been involved in any war, but they enjoyed discussing the ins and outs of tactics, military strategy and the principles of combat. Roger stopped dwelling on the visions he had in the night when he started thinking about that hot coffee and breakfast he had with his old companion.

The campaign they most speculated on was always the one that led through the Mongolian highlands and down to the shores of the Caspian Sea. There was never any reason to question the tenacity of the veterans involved, it was the shipped cargo that had sent their historical anger off in many directions. Slavery turned into a blood bath when the fathers met the slavers. Of course that had been a topic of conversations between Roger and Ian in the past. Their last meeting was filled only with small talk and grudging recognition of each other’s tenacity at holding onto their dignity in the face of time and weariness.

All talk shadowing dire circumstances eventually ends in stalemate.  Roger hoped there would never be anything eventful to discuss between himself and Ian again.  There was already too much to be ignored between them.  Roger knew better than to think he would never see his old friend again, though, so he just sighed and got ready to depart the club for the train station.  At least it had been a very good night.

Roger glanced at the gold bracelet he tried to give Saira before he left the room.  He had known she woudn’t take it.  He also knew if he left it she would get it, so he left it and the scene of their long, fate contorted love affair.  He sighed one more time, hoping he would see her again somehow, one day or night.  Then he was gone.

- Thompson Creek, East Feliciana, Louisiana
- March 22, 2010


Completion of the last third of "Empty Warehouses" was delayed. After only 17 tracks since last October, the sample banks and instruments built late last year, and meant to last perhaps years, were spent. This collection demands a fresh, polished sound; repetition must be executed. Within a fortnight completion will only be a few recording sessions away. Most musicians finish their albums before releasing anything. People who follow a work's progress as it comes into existence, however, gain a depth of insight impossible to receive through traditional release methods.

Also, currently producing yet another song dedicated to a friend. Artistic creation is the only way I can show somebody far away that my friendship is not just casual chit chat. The setup for this song will be unique to it, a return to recording all samples, and many found tones, on analog. The background work is nearly complete.

Best wishes, love and vivid dreams.
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Symbols of Decay is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License..
Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die