The Bleeding Tree

Kicking off the new year with a new story to share is a fine way to start. Here’s a link to Dark Recesses Press where you’ll find my story “The Bleeding Tree.” It’s about kids, roadkill, and the strange places we look for love.

Going through enormous life changes during 2021 and surviving through the continuing pandemic has brought love to the forefront of my thoughts. You’ll probably see more of this (hopefully not too sentimental) crap from me in other releases soon, including “The Love That Whirls” in The Queer Book of Saints and “Shipwreck of The Cerberus” in an as yet unnamed anthology of five novelettes about the five moons of Pluto.

One good piece of news I read recently is there’s a push from some astronomers to reinstate Pluto’s status as a planet. It makes no difference to my life, really; but the idea of it makes me happy, and that’s enough to warrant remark. Lovecraft wrote “The Whisperer In Darkness” in part inspired by the discovery of Pluto. It’s one of my favorite stories by him and one of the few mentioning the Yellow Mythos.

Speaking of Lovecraft, problematic bastard that he is, I had the opportunity to respond as a transmasc person to the body horror I see in his work by writing an essay for the blog “Deep Cuts in a Lovecraftian Vein.” The site is run and written by Bobby Derie, author of the book “Sex and the Cthulu Mythos.” I’ll post the link when the essay comes out later this year. It was a challenge to write nonfiction and Bobby was a gracious and invaluable editor with an amazing grasp of scholarship concerning all things Lovecraft. I’m so pleased he’ll be hosting my guest post.

For now, enjoy your feat of surviving into a new year and rest as you can while it’s still cold and dark during these winter months. If you read “The Bleeding Tree” I hope it will not only unnerve you, but also bring you back to thoughts of those you love.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting it with a donation at

Published by: Joe

Joe Koch writes literary horror and surrealist trash. A Shirley Jackson Award finalist, Joe is the author of The Wingspan of Severed Hands, The Couvade, and Convulsive. Their short fiction appears in publications such as Vastarien, Southwest Review, Pseudopod, and Children of the New Flesh. He’s been a flash fiction judge for Cemetery Gates Media as well as co-editing the art horror anthology Stories of the Eye from Weirdpunk Books. Find Joe (he/they) online at and on Twitter @horrorsong.

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