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That the world should end in an orgy of pain 
was inconceivable at my conception in the Panama Canal Zone 
where the hydraulic locks were emblems of the unity of oceans.

But the hydraulic harmony was striated with tropical 
diseases and now cancer where was torrid procreation; 
day and night a St. Vitus dance of pain’s mummers.

Nothing will do but to battle brainless hurt, 
stand up in the field of forked lightning striking blindly, 
outfacing the outrage of inexorable vulgarity.

There must be no victory for the base and common in the inevitable 
but an enraged wild beast’s growl of contempt 
for the enemy of what is eternal in one’s dreaming.

Anthony Kerrigan