The hex numer­i­cal system is indis­pens­able in mod­ern com­puter art and science. It is used to define colors, allows foren­sic data sci­en­tists to explore and visu­al­ize binary files, helps you count up to 272 with the dig­its of your hands’ fingers, and yields highly descrip­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tions of uni­code char­ac­ters that can­not be decoded with ASCII. All the more should it be a pri­or­ity to estab­lish it in the artis­tic métiers; in other words: as a new poetic form.

As it is with elevenies and haiku, the hexa­dec­i­mal poem must, in con­trast to pre­vi­ous attempts, obey a cer­tain set of rules:

  1. It must con­sist of 16 lines with 16 ASCII char­ac­ters each. If non-­s­tan­dard ASCII char­ac­ters are used, an extended char­ac­ter set may be employed, e.g. Latin-1.
  2. It must be for­mat­ted as com­mon hex edi­tors would: Each line con­sists of three parts that are sep­a­rated by four spaces. The first part enu­mer­ates the num­ber of ASCII char­ac­ters of the poem at the end of the line with a hexa­dec­i­mal num­ber as an eight-char­ac­ter string (lead­ing zeros). The sec­ond part of the line con­sists of the hexa­dec­i­mal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the poem’s ASCII char­ac­ters, sep­a­rated by sin­gle spaces. The last part of the line con­sists of the decoded, human-read­able char­ac­ters.
  3. The title (if applica­ble) is the first line of the poem.

Here are two examples. Num­ber one will help you get started with Python.

00000010    72 69 66 65 20 6d 61 6c 70 72 61 63 74 69 63 65    rife malpractice
00000020    6e 65 77 63 6f 6d 65 72 20 73 6e 61 6b 69 73 74    newcomer snakist
00000030    64 65 6c 69 63 61 74 65 20 68 65 69 67 68 74 73    delicate heights
00000040    73 65 65 6d 69 6e 67 6c 79 20 62 6c 69 67 68 74    seemingly blight
00000050    6e 6f 74 65 73 20 77 65 6e 74 20 61 6d 69 73 73    notes went amiss
00000060    63 61 74 20 6d 61 64 65 20 6d 65 20 74 68 69 73    cat made me this
00000070    62 69 72 64 73 20 74 68 65 72 65 20 72 65 73 74    birds there rest
00000080    63 61 73 65 73 20 77 6f 6e 27 74 20 6d 65 73 73    cases won't mess
00000090    6d 75 74 61 62 6c 65 20 73 74 61 6e 64 61 72 64    mutable standard
000000A0    6d 79 73 74 69 63 61 6c 20 63 6f 6e 64 75 63 74    mystical conduct
000000B0    73 63 6f 70 65 20 61 6c 74 65 72 61 74 69 6f 6e    scope alteration
000000C0    77 6f 72 6c 64 20 64 6f 6d 69 6e 61 74 69 6f 6e    world domination
000000D0    6e 6f 62 6c 65 20 63 68 61 6e 67 65 6c 69 6e 67    noble changeling
000000E0    69 6e 68 65 72 69 74 65 64 20 70 69 70 70 69 6e    inherited pippin
000000F0    66 61 74 68 6f 6d 6c 65 73 73 20 70 72 69 6e 74    fathomless print
00000100    66 6f 72 20 58 65 72 6f 78 20 61 20 68 69 6e 74    for Xerox a hint

The sec­ond poem is a trans­la­tion of Ode to Spot to hexadecimal.

00000010    68 65 78 61 64 65 63 69 6d 61 6c 20 73 70 6f 74    hexadecimal spot
00000020    65 63 63 65 20 66 65 6c 69 73 20 63 61 74 75 73    ecce felis catus
00000030    63 61 72 6e 69 76 6f 72 65 20 73 74 61 74 75 73    carnivore status
00000040    65 73 74 68 65 73 69 61 20 66 6f 63 75 73 65 64    esthesia focused
00000050    6e 61 74 75 72 65 20 6d 6f 6d 65 6e 74 6f 75 73    nature momentous
00000060    69 6e 66 72 61 73 6f 75 6e 64 20 77 6f 72 64 73    infrasound words
00000070    6a 6f 79 6f 75 73 20 64 69 73 63 6f 75 72 73 65    joyous discourse
00000080    61 6c 74 72 75 69 73 74 69 63 20 73 68 69 6e 65    altruistic shine
00000090    6e 65 65 64 20 73 74 72 6f 6b 65 20 6d 69 6e 65    need stroke mine
000000A0    63 6f 6e 73 74 69 74 75 65 6e 74 20 74 61 69 6c    constituent tail
000000B0    62 61 6c 61 6e 63 65 20 70 72 65 76 61 69 6c 73    balance prevails
000000C0    66 65 65 6c 69 6e 67 20 63 6f 6e 76 65 79 65 64    feeling conveyed
000000D0    67 6f 72 67 65 6f 75 73 20 64 69 73 70 6c 61 79    gorgeous display
000000E0    70 65 72 63 65 70 74 75 61 6c 20 61 72 72 61 79    perceptual array
000000F0    63 61 6e 27 74 20 63 6f 6d 70 72 65 68 65 6e 64    can't comprehend
00000100    73 75 63 68 20 74 72 75 65 20 66 72 69 65 6e 64    such true friend

You may down­load these poems as bina­ries here and here. If you would like to get started yourself, you could use the exam­ple script that I used.