With the frank, subversive, and very funny poems in his first two books, Neil Rollinson established himself as a deft cartographer of the sensual world. While a rich and tactile eroticism still courses through Demolition, there is a new seriousness here, as mortality starts to throw its long shadow.
These poems occupy a more rueful, reflective space - provisional, mercurial and fragile - a darker place where disintegration and loss are the only certainties, and memory is the only solid ground. Central to this is the death of the father - whether the poet's own, or the lost fathers of Borges or Vallejo - and the theme is broadened through a number of moving examinations of the erosion of time and youth. Against this gathering darkness, Rollinson sets a spirited defence, blending the lyric and vernacular voice in a muscular celebration of food, sex, sport and the natural world that is unusually refreshing, and sophisticated enough to allow both humour and profundity.
The poems in Demolition never give up hope; they exhibit a tenacious optimism - or at least a steely pragmatism - that says: we have what we are given, there is no alternative, and we all must find what joy we can in life, and in its living.