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Step into Meira Cook's Slovenly Love -- anywhere -- and meet words quite intelligible and yet curiously freed from their burden of expected meaning. With semantic borders relaxed, fresh associations spring up. This is urgent play, a serious teasing of language and life, a tweaking of the notion that the former gives purchase on the latter. No wonder the enigmatic Heraclitus, in one section of the book, is both classical personage and inhabitant of a contemporary city, because shifty experience assumes in it an uncanny clarity. Step into the book again -- it's not the same. Everything is liminal, dynamic, "shuttling between meaning and its opposite." Slovenly Love is composed of five sequences distinct in subject matter and approach, and yet so intimately linked by voice and image as to constitute a long poem and a world of leap and follow eerily, compellingly, unlike and like the one you know.