Idler Questionnaire: John Cooper Clarke

31 Oct|John Cooper Clarke

Vodka Martini One: John Cooper Clarke at the Café Royal. Photo by Julia Hember.

John Cooper Clarke has been a full time poet since the early seventies. His new collection, The Luckiest Guy Alive, is published by Pan Macmillan.

Are you happy?
Sure, why not? (Don’t tell me.)

What are you reading?
An Encyclopaedia of Myself by Jonathan Meades. Love him.

What was your worst ever job?
Two weeks on a construction site. I was shifting hunks of concrete five times heavier than myself. Thank God for the wheelbarrow.

How many hours a day do you work?
Call this work? (See above.)

Town mouse or country mouse?
Town.

Does love bring happiness or unhappiness?
Happiness, obvs.

Digital or analog?
Analog, although I love watching some of the new TV channels on Freeview. I’m a “back to mono” advocate.

What are your three greatest pleasures?
Lounging around, watching TV and long car journeys.

Are you a fan of the nap?
Well – I lived in Spain for a time and I was the only conscious citizen come siesta time. So no, I guess not.

What would your older self say to your younger self?
Ease up on the pep pills, junior.

What music are you listening to?
Amy Rigby’s latest album, The Old Guys.

Any message for the youth?
I would refer you to page 20 of my forthcoming anthology, The Luckiest Guy Alive, ‘Haiku No 5’:

The way to relax
Don’t lift anything heavy
And try to keep still.

This questionnaire appears in Idler 63. Buy a copy here.