gypsy blood by wesley scott mcmasters

Most Read Poets 2020

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This year has offered many challenges to all of us. There has been great change, great loss, a fight against an invisible assailant. As with all things in 2020 the pandemic has dominated. This year’s most read poets includes the six pandemic issues we published. The list begins with Wesley Scott McMasters followed by The Pandemic Issues and rounded out by Ezra Solway, Robbi Nester and Akshaya Pawaskar.

Gypsy Blood by Wesley Scott McMasters

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/gypsy-blood-by-wesley-scott-mcmasters/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #2

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-2/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #5

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #6

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-6/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #1

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/__trashed-2/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue # 3

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-3/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #4

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/27/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-4/

Philadelphia Pulp by Ezra Solway

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/10/14/philadelphia-pulp-by-ezra-solway/

Perspective by Robbi Nester

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/perspective-by-robbi-nester/

War of Elements by Akshaya Pawaskar

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/war-of-elements-by-akshaya-pawaskar/

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Ten Most Read Poetry Posts at North of Oxford – January – July 2020

232

Gypsy Blood by Wesley Scott McMasters

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/gypsy-blood-by-wesley-scott-mcmasters/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #2

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-2/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue # 3

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-3/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #1

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/__trashed-2/

North of Oxford – The Pandemic Issue #4

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/27/north-of-oxford-the-pandemic-issue-4/

War of Elements by Akshaya Pawaskar

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/war-of-elements-by-akshaya-pawaskar/

As Promised, the fire by David P. Kozinski

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/as-promised-the-fire-by-david-p-kozinski/

This Land is Full of Noises by Robert Nisbet

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/this-land-is-full-of-noises-by-robert-nisbet/

Perspective by Robbi Nester

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/perspective-by-robbi-nester/

Medusa’s #Metoo by Luanne Castle

https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/medusas-metoo-by-luanne-castle/

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Gypsy Blood by Wesley Scott McMasters

shoes
.
Gypsy Blood
            for my father
.
I wear shoes that are worn out
            soles worn thin
            dirty
            leather cracked
            creases clear
.
           sometimes even a gap through which
            I can feel rain or snow
.
I wear shoes that I don’t wash or shine
            I let them soak in the shit in the city streets
            feel the ocean water
            or the Gulf of Mexico
                        a place my father dreams about
                        even when he is there
.
I dig these shoes out from the back of my closet
            like pulling bones from a grave
            blowing the dust off
.
            stepping in piss
            in a corner of Venice
.
            where as a kid
I always dreamed of going
.
            finally walking those streets
            wearing jeans that made me
look like my gypsy ancestors
the Romani who still live
sometimes
outside of the city
            a purple button down
            blazer bleached from Italian sun
            and shoes
            that will never forget why
            the soles are worn thin
            and the leather
            is cracked
.
            or the moment when she kissed me
for the first time
            in ten years
            or ten days
.
            or the moment when I hugged my father
            for the first time
            in ten years
            or ten days
.
            maybe the first time I ever saw him cry
            and definitely the first time
            I cried with him
.
            as I watched my grandfather’s body
            weak and frail
            carried out to be burned
                        to be made into dust
.
            my father told me
during a call to him
from a diner
in Poughkeepsie
that we have gypsy blood
            like my grandfather
            and my great grandfather
.
maybe this is why
my leather lasts
.
soaked in blood
my blood
my father’s blood
gypsy blood
.
McMasters
Wesley Scott McMasters is a poet and professor in the eastern part of Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains, where he lives with his dog, Poet (who came with the name, he swears).
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