Buffalo Bill’s defunct, who used to ride a watersmooth silver stallion and break one, two, three, four, five pigeons, just like that. Jesus! He was a handsome man! And what I want to know is, how do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mister Death?
Above is a version of the poem that eliminates E. E. Cummings' unique line structure and punctuation/capitalization idiosyncrasies. The poetic elements still remaining are:
Defunct: an interesting word choice to describe a man's death. It makes the reader consider that the man was more than a man; he was an institution and a business entity and possibly even a movement. The word is unusual and perhaps metaphorical in its use.
Watersmooth: this is a neologism, a word made up by Cummings, that is full of tactile and visual imagery.
Silver stallion: the alliteration and visual imagery are poetic.
Jesus: this is ambiguous. Is the poet using the name as a comparison to Buffalo Bill, as a curse word, or as a prayer?
Handsome man: this phrase contains assonance with the short /a/ sound repeated in both words.
Mister Death: this final question is an apostrophe, a dramatic address to an imaginary character.
Even without Cummings' deliberate layout, this poem retains many poetic devices that make it effective. However, the creative layout, expanding and contracting like a spinning lasso, creates a level of showmanship that further enhances the memory of the great performer being eulogized in the poem.