Shake Weight

BooksNovember 5, 2021

The Friday Poem: Sometimes I feel like a human Shake Weight, by Jordan Hamel

Shake Weight

A new poem from Wellington poet Jordan Hamel.

Sometimes I feel like a human Shake Weight

How much would you pay for a love like this?
Before you answer, listen!

Watch me, sliding back and forth and
back and forth like a caterpillar seizure

in your sweaty palm cocoon.
Let me grow in your clammy safety.

I am a failed phallic fitness fad banished
to the internet’s sleepless nights

wheeled out at parties for overworked
jokes about me as a sex toy.

How dare you, I’d make a terrible sex toy.

But why give all the love in your body!
When you could have me for five easy installments?

I look back at our past together and everything is
grayscale. A man who can’t tighten a faucet,

a stain no chemical can remove, scores
of forlorn citizens shrugging to camera.

Baste me in Natural Glow and air fry me
I want to be so very golden for you.

I once saw a knife so sharp it could
slice through……… a bowling ball?

I once saw a knife so sharp
regular retailers refused to sell it.

Sure we’re a knife store but
not that kind of knife store!

Back and forth and back and
I was never the workout you thought I’d be.

So I spent my days building
Lycra palaces for you to murder me in,

chasing me through Bowflex thigh sweat
creases screaming JAZZERCISE!!!

This new microfibre technology
can’t soak up your heaviest imprints.

But wait there’s more!
Our love was a luxury item with no discount code.

I once saw a knife so sharp it could
carve off the best parts of our shared memory

but if I call right now maybe I can get them back.
Throw in a free Tupperware set

and that past will be a present for my future self.
You only want things that could be yours today.

If you ever decide that boyfriend-shaped
massage pillow with performance anxiety

isn’t enough, then you know I’ll be back
and forth and back and forth et cetera.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until 31 December 2021. Please send up to three poems to

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Mad Chapman, Editor
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