Welcome to Jingle Poetry!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet The Poet

Welcome to Meet the Poet! I am Blaga and it's a pleasure to be with you this Wednesday! Today we will visit Cape town in South Africa, but not to enjoy the sun, walking on Table bay or to cross the getaway of the Castle of Good Hope. We're reaching to this beautiful corner of Africa to meet Martin Lochner and the secret behind Kalahari Blues. Martin is a new poet sharing his talent and words with Jingle poetry, but I had the luck to meet him much earlier and to savor his poems.

Enjoy the interview with him!

The world is not enou
by Martin Lochner

When death, misery and the ring
of hell surrounds you everyday,
when darkness comes as charcoal mist

and smudges every white canvas
of light, happiness and joy
that you call your life, then accept this:

as your feelings stumble forth,
the ravaging and the onslaught
of heartbreak variables will continue,

then love furiously and passionately,
plastering and binding the hurt
with your human spirit.

I expect you to be beautiful,
sparkling and courageous,
not realized;

there is no stopping or gl
ancing back -
the river flows endless.

Tell me about yourself Martin?

I was born in a region called the Karoo in South Africa. I was raised by stoic conservative Afrikaner parents in a little railway town known as Touwsriver and was groomed to become the fourth generation of railway workers.

Excelling at school I received a bursary to study Fine Art at the Jack Meyer School of Art but I was suspended for series of protest paintings I created as my response to Apartheid. I was also under investigation and harassed by the Security Police.

I left South Africa for France with the idea to study at the Ecole but was somehow not convenient because of financial constraints and signed up with a Mercenary army and was occupied as a professional soldier in Congo and Sudan for the next five years.

I returned back from East and West Africa with a condition of extreme post traumatic stress and poetry was introduced to me as a way to express my suppressed feelings. Poetry and not counseling helped me with a complete recovery and ever since I write poetry in my native language called Afrikaans. I started writing in English not long ago, because English is the common ground we meet on and understand each other.

I recently married a lovely girl that works as a private chef and we complement each other with words, pudding and tender loving. I am currently working as a Retail Risk Manager for a big fashion clothing group and continue my studies at the University in Art History and curatorship.

Tell me about your blog? When did you start blogging and what does the name mean to you?

Blogging started two months ago after some motivation from my Facebook poet friends. Online interaction only recently started when I opened a Facebook account a year ago to communicate with friends that emigrated to the United States.One day I punched poetry in the Facebook search engine and as the saying goes: the rest is history!

Surviving the legacy of Apartheid is not easy. A whole country’s population still licks the wounds after such an oppressive regime. The Extremities of censure and ideological conditioning was the norm in my country and any insistence to speak your mind or to express yourself freely has been seen as subversive and dangerous.

Blogging is a tool of unrestricted self expression and the exercise of my right to be free as an artist and thinker. I am still in awe about the global connectivity and interaction and it will take time to feel completely comfortable with this powerful application. Coming from proletariat roots this also is an affirmation of my own evolution as a progressive human being. Writing letters and sending telegrams to loved ones is still predominant in my country that is slowly waking up to the potentiality of the World Wide Web and blogging secrets.

Kalahari refers to a magnificent stretch of semi desert earth that exudes a feeling of eternity and timelessness. I go there for retreats to forget myself under the massive starry skies and to appreciate the state of nature. It is indeed a beautiful and extreme place and reflects the state of my consciousness. Blues is my favorite music genre and I am fascinated about the feelings that invokes in me when I listen to it.

Do you remember your first poem?

My first poem was called “that gleaming rail “It was about the railway and its community I was brought up into. The poem gives an intimate account of that culture and its desperate and bigoted people that were only obsessed about the “rail”

I disliked that life and became alienated by it because of its sheer lack of creativity and mundane character. It was a hard time for me “coming out of the closet” and I was seen as an outsider to the embarrassment of my parents.

That Gleaming Rail


pot bellied boasting navels

shiny round ball bearing stomachs

haloing out of diesel grime

over alls and silver buttoned railway


these long waxed pig curled mustache workmen

rotated their lives between shifts of day and night

with metal lunch boxes and coffee tin flasks

strolling main road home or to that gleaming rail

that provided a town’s livelihood

my grandfather worked that rail and my father too

providing me with the means

to take that broke back-heart break scenic route

out of town for good and forgetting

until now


coming back everything changed

and the fat men were now old and wiry

sitting on subsidized railway porches

looking on main road maybe thinking rail

going to that station I found it desolated

and the once shimmering humming rail
rusted up and silent

on my knees and creasing my director slacks

I touched it and imagined the once proud spirit of it

corroding away as the blue collar folks on the porch

Do you write only poetry? A style that you prefer?

I prefer free or blank verse due to the freedom that gives. I have a very limited word count in English and I found out that I write difficult in forms. In my native language I write Sonnets as my preferred form. Oriental poetry also influenced me immensely and I enjoy writing haiku and minimalist couplets. The imagist theory of Ezra Pound is also a great influence.

I also write flash fiction and short stories and I am currently developing a new concept that I call the “unlikely hero.” Vagrants, barbers, maids are doing spectacular things in my stories!

Favorite poem you’ve written?

Reinstating sanity by introducing silence

In Memory: Ludwig Wittgenstein

a thinking silhouette

that probing scalpel

once a man

Infiltrating the statement

of truth

violating it by glaring


found wanted

between intruding walls

and gossiping kitchen floors

he solved all philosophical


he never went to sleep again

deciphering the time between

every click of the ding dong clock

looking at time…analyzing

knowing his crime…calculating the odds

cursing the uncommon predicament

that a table has five legs

the freakish conclusion hopping towards

the master,

taking a fearsome corner and saying
and saving himself

that what cannot be said must be left in silence

What inspires you to write the most?

“Is writing creating a choice?” I sometimes find myself asking. In my case without assuming any esoteric knowledge, I believe I am compelled to write and to create. I think every person that feels forced to write is cursed with an internal word processor that is unable to shut down. Failure to get it out on a page or a canvas creates unbelievable mental and even physical agony for me.

Life did not always give me a fair split of cards to play with and I was forced to sometimes play a shrewd game with a marbled poker face. I also have seen too much into human nature to sacrifice themselves and others for the sake of greed and cruelty but writing comforted me and helped me to get perspective of our predicament.

I have no desires to make money or to become a famous writer or artist. I have got something to say and I want to share it with those that will find appreciation for it. Like the old Chinese Poet Li Po I want to write my poem and drop the page into the river to be discovered by someone that hopefully will be touched by it.

Favorite books, authors?

I have an absolute passion for French literature and especially for the existentialist writers during the second world war:

J.P Sartre: Nausea

A.Camus: The Outsider

A.Gide: The Immoralist

Favorite quote?

“True Words are not beautiful and beautiful words are not true”-Toa Te Ching

If you could live the life of a famous writer, which one would that be?

Ernst Hemingway for his sense of adventure.

What are the benefits of being part of a community like Jingle poetry?

Well, I believe that it prevents me from feeling isolated from other poets and to immediately pick up on new trends in writing poetry. I can also derive benefit from sharing poetry in a closely bonded community of poets.

Any advice for people who like poetry and writing?

Writing is a relationships with your innermost essences that is beautiful and authentic and when you create ensure that this is what ends up on your canvas or page. Do not short change your readers with your work; give them everything you’ve got even if it is as dark as hell.


This will be all from me - Blaga and our guest - Martin!
Thank you Martin for your time and wise words and experience you shared with us!

Don't forget to visit him at http://kalahariblues.blogspot.com/

Stay tuned for next Wednesday and Christopher's interview with another talent of our community!

Peace & Love ...


Anonymous said...

wow! what a great post and poet! keep it up! you. are. awesome! :)

Jingle said...

amazing one.
well done.

Chim's World of Literature said...

When i read the opening line Cape Town i thot cool this is so awesome, another Capetonian and South African...
Martin great interview i hope we can converse with our blogs seeing as i am also from cape Town.
Great interview Blaga.

ashwini said...

Wonderful country and great poetry.The best poetry comes from experience and heartfelt emotions, this is a wonderful example. Thank you.

Kalahari blues said...

Thank you very much for the feedback.Chim another citizen discovered!

Chim's World of Literature said...

@Kalahari Blues...definutely

Ginny Brannan said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful interview. Have caught glimpses and bits about you from your writing Martin, but it was nice to learn even more about your life here. So glad that they recognized you, my talented friend!