Conversations with Ghosts: Marguerite Duras and Rikki Ducornet

by on Nov.19, 2010

 This: Marguerite Duras


From a film full of real ghosts, Hiroshima Mon Amour, “I like sex, but I hate myself.”

That: Rikki Ducornet


THE GHOST slipped into bed beside me. His timing was bad; I was in bed with my lover who left the room.

In the voice of a brat sucking sweets, the ghost asked: Why do you let him thread your needle?

I clenched my teeth in answer.

Why, the ghost persisted, do you fuck when you know the flesh is mud?

I ground my teeth then, making the sound of bone against bone.

Seizing me the ghost pulled me close and whispered: why do you screw, when it is the dead who are alone?

In its cage my heart hammered out its answer.

—Rikki Ducornet

The author of eight novels as well as collections of short stories, essays, and poems, Rikki Ducornet has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, honored twice by the Lannan Foundation, and the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature. Widely published abroad, Ducornet is also a painter who exhibits internationally. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

3 comments for this entry:
  1. Joyelle McSweeney

    Gorgeous assemblage. Light and moving (like media).JM

  2. Emily

    Gorgeous story, gorgeous picture of Rikki!

  3. Cynthia

    amazingly supernatural, fluid as a cloud.