"You will put on a dress of guilt and shoes with broken high ideals."
"We shouldn't have got married, really. Shouldn't have got married. Too young. Not ready for it."
"Whereas with poetry no one has to show anybody really, and you don't have to tell anyone you're doing it."
"As I keep saying, I had this fanciful notion about myself of not being tied down, and then suddenly found myself a father to two children, cos I'm a Catholic I didn't find out about... anyway, so... fathered two children and then it started to break up and I lost it."
"People can put their best poems straight onto the web."
"Better is a big ambition. Some people don't want that ambition as a writer. Some people seem to want to unsettle the reader. I don't know."
"Now there are people writing about real issues. It's not so safe and middle class."
"If I decide to be indecisive, that's my decision."
"I wish the word whimsical wasn't used now."
"If I do a poetry reading I want people to walk out and say they feel better for having been there - not because you've done a comedy performance but because you're talking about your father dying or having young children, things that touch your soul."
"Yes, you can feel very alone as a poet and you sometimes think, is it worth it? Is it worth carrying on? But because there were other poets, you became part of a scene. Even though they were very different writers, it made it easier because you were together."
"I was put off by people at school - my cabbage wasn't as good as other people's, you know, so that put me off."
"If I'd written a serious poem I'd always end up making it funny, to prove to this imagined reader or listener, which would have been a fellow Liverpudlian, that I'm not better than you."
"Yeah, people always seem to say I'm whimsical and anti-establishment. Sarcastic. I don't think I'm any of these things really. A bit of whimsy, maybe; sentimental, yes, I'd own up to that."
"I'm terrified of switching the computer on because there are so many poems."