If you didn't already know, the Museum of Modern Art has a resident poet of sorts. His name is Kenneth Goldsmith, author of "Seven American Deaths and Disasters," and his official title at the New York City art haven is Poet Laureate for the year 2013.
Goldsmith stopped by The Colbert Report this week to promote his new book, a collection of transcribed radio and television broadcasts of deaths and disasters in the United States. (Think relayed news coverage of 9/11 and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.) Dressed in a bubblegum suit ripped straight from the closet of a Candy Land character, he engaged in a spirited debate with Stephen Colbert, attempting to convince the wily host that it's necessary to "think about sad things."
"When I read this I feel like I'm some sort of time traveling aesthete who is coming in to sample other people's shock and tragedy," Colbert relays to Goldsmith. "I'm tasting their disbelief and the way it's changing them forever... and it feels vampiric."
Dwight Garner of The New York Times similarly pointed out the unsettling feeling of "Seven American Deaths and Disasters," stating that it "may seem like a cheap stunt, a snort of disaster porn."
Goldsmith's response? In an interview with Paris Review, the ostentatious writer maintained, "You could say that we are defined by these tragedies -- and more so by the spectacle emanating from them."
Watch the video above for the whole Colbert interview and let us know your thoughts on MoMA's poetry expert in the comments.