“The Media”
by Ben Lerner
from the April 20, 2020 issue of The New Yorker

Usually I excerpt the first paragraph or so in these little New Yorker stories posts, but if I did that this week I’d post the entire story. That’s right, “The Media” is a single-paragraph story, though a pretty short one that should take only a few minutes to read. Posting the first few sentences will provide some distinctive flavor, so I’ll do that.

Walking at dusk through the long meadow, recording this prose poem on my phone, that’s my job, as old as soldiery, the hills, the soldered hills where current flows, green current. When you are finished recording, your lips are dried flowers. The trees are full of black plastic bags and hornets’ nests but not significance; the task of imbuing them falls to me. And it’s me, Ben, just calling to check in.

I haven’t read what this story is about, and I have read only the lines I just put down, but I’m intrigued. I’ve liked quite a bit of Lerner’s work over the years, and I’m looking forward to setting down with this later tonight.

Please comment below with your thoughts on the story, Lerner’s work in general, or whatever. I hope you are all doing well and are starting a good week.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Mookse and the Gripes on Patreon!