City Without Stress 1997/revised 2013

A City Without Stress


I dreamed I was mayor of New York City.

I ran on the ticket of “Take Out The Stress –

Lower, eliminate, vote

For my program with “Yes, oh yes, yes!”

My platform and slogan was “Clean, Calm & Pretty”.

First came step one, aimed at the mess.

Involving each citizen doing his bitty:

Man-spit or dog shit,

Pink, speckled, brown

The only requirement “Look and bend down!”

Convinced that an ordered and temperate manliness

Follows with cleanliness,

Eye seeing everything back in its place,

Trash in the trashcan, litter in bin,

Flowers and trees in that space of decline,

I’d instruct all my staff of the joys

That result from the process of cutting out noise.

“Staff, I would plead, here’s the funding you need.

Restore the tranquility, quiet and poise

That has oozed from our town,

Brought the soul of this prospering lovely town down!”

Then I’d reward anyone in a queue

Who was willing to wait for an hour or two

When a bus or a train was that hour overdue.

A city unstressed could send waves

Of the best…

On the crest of a world full of pestilent knaves.


Corny or shallow, truism, dream:

A city unstressed is a powerhouse team.

In spite of our egos, in spite of our sorrows,

A city unstressed could de-poison tomorrows.


City Without Stress 1.18.1997 4.1.2012/revised 5.9.2013

(found in an old diary.  I must have been visiting Brooklyn, NY at the time)

Our Times, Our Culture II; Definitely Didactic; Circling Round Egos;

Arlene Corwin



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