To the first to put on a VR headset and never come back – by Daniel Roy Connelly


You left behind a crowd of techies wearing fluorescent vests
rolling props to you across a foot-sensor floor
when you flew into a virtual panic, hoofed it through the door
mask intact, stumbling along the road, jerking horribly.
The team shares your PoV as you bang your brother’s wife
in the sparkling Jacuzzi on the roof of a villa by the sea.
You’ve now arrived at the tube station and as you reach in
your pocket for coins, she gives your balls a good rubbing
which sends you storming down the escalator, M-16 primed,
blowing squirty heads off alien forms, showing the world
this morning appears to be playing on your mind.
Twerking into an MTV beach party, you throw your hands
up to catch the butterflies at 9.30 on the Central Line,
parade Regent Street on the neck of a brontosaurus,
tourists with selfie sticks cluster round like you’re doing art.
Back in the studio the team loves the show, they lay down
their clipboards only to pick them up when you start to tire,
appear more confused than during the usual 3D adventures,
but then again you are suddenly starring in King Lear, howling
lumpenly to nothing in Trafalgar Square in a VR headset,
the focal point of the greatest spectacle ever seen,
all London staring at you on your knees reaching out dying
for everything passing, grasping tangible clumps of nothing.




Daniel Roy Connelly was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. Published widely, his poetry currently appears in The Moth, Acumen, and Critical Survey. He is a theatre director and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome.

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