Ryan Clark

The Hext Ranch

for Hext, Oklahoma, no longer a town

Begin by receiving a Texas rancher.

Root him as a sound even after he relocates.

A chosen land knows others.

Hext, open your range when the railroad comes;
show where we fail to realize the empty view
of a schoolhouse fast returned to earth is not a ghost, or a seal.

Turn off at the Hext exit, an edge so moved away from,
to touch the switch of brick and farm, of town
and name slid into a haze of weed and stick,
like the boring union of history.

Nail a will to jut out into a sky until home peels away
and the rot of articles leaves an uncertain noun.

Never find enough of a map to hold onto, for you are
white space reestablishing its point among order.

Rescind as the post office did a way to exist.

Claw home out of you like an inverted word
for what this area means.


Ryan Clark is obsessed with puns and writes much of his work through a unique method of homophonic translation. His poetry has most recently appeared in Glint, the museum of americana, riverSedge, Flock, Menacing Hedge, and Homonym and his first book, How I Pitched the First Curve, is forthcoming from Lit Fest Press. He is a winner of the 2018 San Antonio Writers Guild contest and his work has been nominated for Best of the Net. He currently teaches creative writing at Waldorf University in Iowa.