Verse: A Murder Mystery


VERSE: A murder mystery. When a young poet discovers a lost manuscript, he is drawn into the New York City literary world with the only key to an unsolved, 30-year-old murder. Starring Jon Sands, Angel Nafis and Mark Greenfield. Produced by Rattapallax Productions. Directed by Ram Devineni. Script by Susan Brennan. Music by Shira E. & the Tiny Tornadoes.



Jon Sands (Jon) is a spirited spoken-word poet and New York City bike messenger living on the edge. He stumbles upon a manuscript that will lead him through a dark maze of the past.


Angel Nafis (Angel) is a young poetry graduate student who works at Poets House. She jumps at the opportunity to uncover the arcane life of a forgotten poet.


Mark Greenfield (Mark) is a reckless, hot-tempered poet on the brink of major career success unless the past avails to haunt and destroy him.


Lamont B. Steptoe (Lamont) is a radical poet from the 1970’s who served time for firebombing a Vietnam recruiting center. Paranoid and dangerous, he fears the manuscript as a threat.


Bob Holman (Bob) is Angel’s eccentric professor and world renowned poet who knew Claire from the 1970’s NYC poetry scene. He inadvertently helps Jon track down the murderer.


Julie Berndt (Mary) was once a member of the Poets Freedom Project, but now a middle-class housewife who sold out her radical principles for a stable life. The manuscript risks exposing her past to her family and rekindles long-lost memories and regrets.


Sophia Holman (Claire) was a young poet who was murdered in the early 1970s. Her lost manuscript is the center of the story and Jon’s obsession.


John Giorno (John) is a poet and performance artists and Beat writer William S. Burrough’s friend. Together they found Claire’s body hanging in Burrough’s BUNKER .


Taylor Mead (Taylor) is the infamous hoarder poet and former Andy Warhol movie star, who drops Jon and Angel an enticing clue.


Bill Kushner (Bill) is the dead poet that Jon finds, who has part of the mysterious manuscript.

OTHER CAST: Maggie Balistreri, Joelle Hann, Jyrki Ihalainen, Eileen Myles, Kurt Boone, Steve Cannon, Stacy Szymaszek, Jared Singer, Brian Moreland, Rolando Torrens, Jennifer Chapis, Susan Brennan, Ed Zeizel, Josh Goldfaden, Leonardo Novik and Boaz Novik.

Originally broadcast on KOLDCAST.TV. LA Webseries Festival Winner for Best Script in a Dramatic Webseries: Susan Brennan and Best Musical Score in a Dramatic Webseries: Shira Erlichman. Selected for 2011 International TV Festival in Los Angeles.

“VERSE packs some onamatopoaic mystery, metaphoric wildness, and the poetry story line is in the mouths and imagination of some very talented folks. Kudos to Ram Devineni for taking the syllables and images of verse to the movies.” – Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

CHAPTER 1: Jon, a spoken-word poet and New York City bike messenger stumbles upon a lost manuscript from 1974 by Claire Wilks, a forgotten poet who was murdered. Initially intrigued by the possibilities of bringing attention to this important literary work, Jon quickly becomes obsessed to unravel Claire’s unsolved murder. Drawn into New York City literary world, he encounters many poetry characters and landmarks, as well as sparks a romance with beautiful young poet, Angel.

CHAPTER 2: Jon and Angel plunge into the mystery of Claire’s death while being stalked by a crazy radical poet, Lamont who sees the manuscript as a threat to him and his past. While another mysterious poet, Mark, appears in New York City after a self-exile in Berlin. He is on the brink of major literary success, but will the ghost of Claire and the manuscript destroy him?

CHAPTER 3: While in Berlin, Angel’s professor Bob Holman discovers a cryptic poem written by Claire that sheds light on a dark figure. Jon meets Mary Alice Fulton, an old friend of Claire’s who warns him of the trouble he’s unleashed with the manuscript. Aroused by memories and regret, she reveals more about Claire and her covert past.

CHAPTER 4: As their relationship blossoms, Jon and Angel dig deeper into Claire’s manuscript. When they seek out the infamous Taylor Mead, a hoarder poet and former Andy Warhol movie star, he drops them an enticing clue.

CHAPTER 5: Jon’s obsession with finding the truth about Claire leads to an unexpected phone call from John Giorno who invites him to legendary writer and junkie William S. Burroughs’ dungeon layer — THE BUNKER. While learning about Claire’s secret connection with Burroughs, Jon discovers her typewriter and a suicide note written by her. Was it murder or a suicide?

CHAPTER 6: The infamous pack-rat poet Lamont makes a bold move to steal the manuscript, prompting Jon and Angel to track down the White Rabbit, an underground press from the 1980s. Meanwhile, Mark locks horns with Lamont in the dead of winter over the future of Claire’s writings. Co-starring Bob Holman, Eileen Myles, Kurt Boone, and others.

CHAPTER 7: In the final chapter, Jon and Angel discover Claire’s secret lover and possible killer. Now, its up to them to get the case re-opened and bring Claire’s manuscript the light of day.