Madonna’s America

November 8, 2010

This poem was fascinating to read.  The meanings of the words changed right under my eyes.  Every time Madonna repositioned a word or phrase, it reflected in new ways off the surrounding words, and caused those words to have a different reflection, too.  I was reminded of my art history class, which taught me how our perception of colors change depending on their juxtaposition. 

I especially liked the line:  “I gas bleeding yellow me take.”  This has many levels of meaning, depending on where you pause and how you group the words.  

For instance, if you use “gas” as an old slang term for talking a lot without having any effect, then “I gas” can symbolize the helplessness of Americans to change the economic crisis no matter how much we complain and protest. 

Also, “gas bleeding” can refer to the BP oil disaster, another crisis that profoundly damaged America.  “Yellow me” is a scared American. 

“Me take” fits in with the poem’s powerful emphasis on “I” and “me.”  It could mean, I’m forced to take what I need, or I’m reduced to taking whatever I can get (think part-time jobs).  Or, read as broken English, it could mean, “Please take me away from this bleeding America.”

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