- Francis Bacon said: ‘all painting is an accident. But it’s also not an accident, because one must select what part of the accident one chooses to preserve.’ My accident is using too many strong images in a draft. I remind myself that nothing is ever wasted.
- I am moved by strangeness and deviance with a common thread of extreme emotion. The complexities of human behaviour; vulnerability to violence. I ask myself: What’s the most important thing for you in a poem? My response is: I want to be moved by a poem.
- Writing poetry is a personal process. An alchemy of production. I extract my ideas for poems from a vast number of raw materials (art, music, films, novels) and stitch them together to create new bodies.
- Colour seems to pervade my drafts literally and metaphorically. I understand I have been enacting colour to shape a reader’s experience aesthetically and emotionally.
- There are particular images and ideas that I want to interrogate before preparing to write. I usually begin writing a poem by jotting down one powerful phrase in a notebook. This could be a first line, concluding line, or the beat from a poem’s heart.
- In early drafts I try to place prominence on softness and silences. These disarmingly careful moments spatter my drafts: my objective is to create a disturbance of distinction. My drafts play with repetition for claustrophobic effect.
- At times, my poem- patients are reduced to automata – mechanical matter. I cut off limbs and transfuse blood from what has previously been the life of the poem. As my drafts develop, I become compelled by how words function and how they can operate in shocking and strange ways; an explicit preoccupation in my poetry. My actors assert themselves, demand a life force.
- By the end of my drafting there are still lines to be written. My poems pulse.
 Francis Bacon, Interviews with Francis Bacon, 1962-1979, ed. by Francis Bacon and David Sylvester (London: Thames and Hudson, 1980), p. 16-17