14: a txt msg poM

In 2001, I won a prize in the Guardian’s text message poetry competition with this poem …

14: a txt msg poM

his Is r bunsn brnr bl%
his hair lyk fe filings
W/ac/dc going thru.
I sit by him in kemistry
my @oms  split
wen he :-)s @ me.

(Translation? 14: a text message poem / His eyes are bunsen burner blue / his hair like iron filings / with the current going through. / I sit by him in chemistry /  my atoms split / when he smiles at me.)

It went all over the place, this poem – in a fresco on the Arts Council office wall, in a German text book, in this book about text linguistics. These are the people I love the most – the ones who asked me nicely if they could use it. By putting this golden oldie here on my site, I’m making it easy for you to find me if you want to ask me too!


7 thoughts on “14: a txt msg poM

  1. Maxim Myskov November 8, 2010 / 5:48 pm

    Hi! It’s a great poem)))) We tried to translate it on our English lesson (I’m from Russia)

    What does “14:” mean?

  2. juliabird November 8, 2010 / 6:07 pm

    Hello and thanks for getting in touch! When I got my first mobile, I imagined what it would have been like if I’d have had one when I was 14. Somewhat predicatably, I think I’d probably used it for texting my friends about boys. So ’14’ is a little wistful love poem dedicated to poetry loving 14 year olds everywhere …

    • TEAR GAS September 10, 2016 / 9:20 am

      OH…I thought it stood for…..’for teen’…:)

      • juliabird September 10, 2016 / 9:40 am

        o wow – i’d never thought of that, nice interpretation!

  3. Maxim Myskov November 9, 2010 / 8:59 am

    If it’s interesting for you, this poem is mentioned in “Oxford English for information technology” 🙂

  4. Laura Grant (@L4UR4_6) November 15, 2011 / 3:10 pm


    I’m writing an essay for a digital language class and would like to use your poem as an example. Would you mind?

    • juliabird November 15, 2011 / 3:28 pm

      Of course not! Good luck with your essay.

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