Victor Delgado, Bronx poeta and frequent reader at Acentos & First Wednesdays, passed away on Monday. Victor was over seventy years old and had already survived two strokes but found a way to make it to Acentos as often as he could. He even made it through a flash snow storm that came out of nowhere this last February and got on the mic to read a poem.
He may have read two. Actually, he probably did read two. Victor was infamous for sneaking in one extra poem. I’ve seen him rock a couple of mini-features at First Wednesdays and, more than once, I would have to (cough) remind (cough) the folks at Acentos that it was only one poem per night after Victor would make the most of his mic time.
This would be the time to say that he is probably in a better place and all that, but I’ve never been one to rock that speech. I think life, in all its fucked.up.edness, is a great thing and everything else has got to rate second. From a purely selfish standpoint, Ima say that I’m going to miss Victor like mad dog. I remember meeting him at a reading in Spanish Harlem (yeah, he got around) and telling him about a new series that was gonna start in the Bronx and he was excited from jump street. He read at the very first Acentos and, a few readings later, I found out he lived just a few blocks from my old job and offered him a car ride down. At that Acentos, he dropped a poem about kicking it to the model on a Corona poster and earned the nickname “the gangster of love.” It didn’t last though; he was just Victor and kept coming to Acentos until another stroke kept him away for a few months. But as soon as he could, he was right back in the mix.
He also was one of the stalwarts that made the trek to the Bruckner Bar & Grill for the “displaced nation” edition of Acentos. He read two poems that night too. ;-)
Victor may not go down in the canon as a major player in the Nuyorican movement but he will always be a poeta that earned the love and respect of Acentos. Anytime somebody tries to rock more than one poem, I’m gonna body tackle them off that mic cuz only one person can lay claim to that… Victor, Ima miss you.