Goodnight Effie

Author | Nora Greenstein Biondi

Inspired by the absent mistress of E. E. Cummings’ “Here is little Effie’s head”

Here is little Effie’s head
bleeding moths and shouting
for still time to turn the knob
          the cupboard door is open
          but hesitation                     is a key

She yelled at old men for their pocket
watches, emptied smoke curls into coffers & shirt

                    Rattlesnakes loved her
             and bones
             and one-eyed little girls
slept in her skirts with whiskey
She could shine your shoes with a bite

whose brains
are made of gingerbread

and thorn-torn roses spilled
cherry so her scalp

The storm rots
in limestone as the sickle carves
an epitaph
         when                            day

Effie is an aviator                          climbing hell’s handlebars
         taking a swim
             with the sinner
of parking lots
                      and two-bit revolvers
where flesh is 8¢ a pound
            and wit prints fairy tales
            on desiccated ear


She kept sharks with the lipliner
         She ate up
                                             the grass
          for 6 feet
                       of shortbread

God will find six crumbs

dedicate one
                      for bubblegum pops and pipe ash
number two for the daggers licking her
           a crumb to stuff a pillow
& eat dreams
the fourth for grey matter and ruddy copper
the last for Him

                         and one just for spite.

Here is little Effie’s head
whose brains are made of gingerbread.

About the Author | Nora Greenstein Biondi is a weird and whimsical poet that has been published in "Texas Best Emerging Poets." She is currently working on her undergraduate degrees in Plan II and Women & Gender Studies, as well as an chapbook for her undergraduate thesis. If any of her poetry piques your interest, feel free to email her at