Sections Above and Below This Page:
split threatening an ambulance, and for all we know, the Heat, so everybody settles down again with "Come on baby" going very strong.
So John is back down with Billy showing him how to receive the baby, when it starts to come out and so quick and easy it seems a miracle but Billy has the baby's head in his hands and it looks like throughout the whole scene of deliverance the baby had turned its own head and decided to come on out and with a thick liquid whoosh is right in Billy's hands. I am on my knees by Joany's head and I lean down with little more than a whisper, "It's a boy."
With some cotton string John Doss ties off the umbilical cord and cuts it with a pocketknife and the baby is born, out, free, alive and beautiful crying in his father's hands so fast that it was not a process of birth at last but life occurring.
John Doss begins cleaning up Joany and places the afterbirth in basin.
"Eat!" he says to the circle of joyously lighted faces holding out the basin. "Everybody eat!" and starts carrying the basin around from one to one and each dips a hand to the stuff of birth and blood and tastes and never, from no dope I have ever taken, have I got so instantly high. Somebody marks the time, 10:41, and asks Billy the baby's name.
"Digger!" Billy answers back with a voice loud with single word as its own rising song.
The bloodied ends of the umbilical tying string Billy takes and wraps up in a poem I had made that afternoon to lay on the kitchen floor:
Velvet kneeling meat--
Crazyblood in his prayers.
is all I remember.
At the instant Billy Batman called his child by their name, the Diggers knew it was given away and they never used it to refer to themselves again. Of course, it was a slow process to hip the San Francisco community to the fact that they were no longer to be known as the Diggers, but rather as the Free City Collective or Commune or whatever. Within a few months, however, no one in the Haight-Ashbury, except the press, used the word that is now simply the name of a burly, blond-haired boy who's already demonstrated that he's got the strength and the vision to go with his birth tag.
Emmett only left the city one more time that so-called Summer of Love to go to New York again to take care of some business and also on to London for a few days to take part in a conference billed as [end page 416]