“Trouser wise, there has never been a better time to be alive” laughs John Cooper Clarke. The master of words is about to embark on a UK tour of his newest collection of poetry, The Luckiest Man Alive, his first in 35 years.

And absence has only served to make the heart grow fonder. From the Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman to a hymn to the seductive properties of the pie – by way of hand-grenade haikus, machine-gun ballads and a meditation on the loss of Bono’s leather pants – The Luckiest Guy Alive streamlines tried-and-tested audience favourites and newer additions for a dose of the lyrical.

This all begs the question: is he really the luckiest man alive?

“I must be. When I thought, who is the luckiest guy alive, I thought, why not me? Yes, I'm lucky enough, yes. Terrific.”

In all seriousness, though, what a claim to make. Does he believe it? “Maybe there are luckier people than me, but I don’t know who that would be. I feel pretty lucky. I’ve had a nice life – I don’t know how I could be luckier.”

His status as the Emperor Punk of Poetry is one that has followed him for several decades. Rising to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’, Cooper Clark has never ceased to be both relevant and vibrant as he sang about the grit amongst the good.

Cooper Clarke has always given a good dose of the high and the low: his Evidently Chickentown is featured in the penultimate episode of The Sopranos, I Wanna Be Yours was sent to the stratosphere by the Arctic Monkeys' global No1 album AM, and his work even features on the English school curriculum. It’s sweary and heavy and light and funny all wrapped up and immortalised on paper.

“I think that the collection is all quite cheerful, quite special” explains Cooper Clarke. “I vox popped it in New York, which is where I had the idea for it. I thought, ‘there are so many misery memoirs on the market, wouldn’t it be best to shoot on a lucky direction?

“I said to my literary people and friends in New York, ‘what do you think of this? Would you buy this?’ and they all replied to me, ‘I would buy that book, Johnny!’ so that settled it for me.”

With the world in seemingly political chaos, isn’t it a funny time to release a new book of poetry? Where is its place in the world?

“The world was always all over the place, and I don’t think it’s any more chaotic or worse. Every night they should show the news from 10 years ago and people would realise that we can’t point to an arcadian point in the past where everything was perfectly in order. That day has never been, and I don’t think that day will ever come, and I will say in answer to the way things are, it was ever thus.”

Cooper Clarke has had his fair share of dark and light experiences, but it doesn’t seem to leave him with a grey outlook – even when it comes to the more pressing matter of climate change.

“I think the whole climate thing is spreading despondence. My reaction is that if people really had 12 years – buy that Maserati, go out with a smile on your f*****g face! You aren’t going to reverse it in 12 years. Maybe you should turn it around – turn it around, baby!”

It’s a positive outlook for someone who has previously given starring roles to places like Salford in his work. If we’re moving away from despondency, surely Cooper Clarke is moving away from his usual subject matter of the grit and grime?

“I haven’t lived in Manchester for 30 years. I’ve always lived all over the place, and left Manchester the minute I was old enough to steal a car. Most cities are the same. I want to write about the universal.”

I am sure that many journalists fear seeming unoriginal when interviewing Cooper Clarke, who, to me at least, is a master of originality. I want to know – what is a question he’s always wanted to answer, and never been asked? Was it when Jarvis Cocker asked where he got his trousers?

“Jarvis Cocker. That was a good one – I can hear it in his voice. I’m glad that he asked it. The thing is for guys – they have to find out the trouser. Once they’ve found the ones for them, they’ve cracked it.

“I’m not giving away sartorial secrets but the trousers I wear cost 19 quid. That was the end of my search. I don’t agree with Oscar Wilde on much but I do agree with him on fashion: "clothes so horrible they have to be replaced every three months."

So now that he's sorted his trouser conundrum, he can focus on the words?

"You got it in one, baby!"

John Cooper Clarke appears at Galashiels Macarts on 16 October; Aberdeen Tivoli Theatre on 18 October; Dundee's Gardyne Theatre on Saturday 19 October and Dunfermline Carnegie Hall on Sunday 20 October