Desolation Row is one of the great songs from that trio of albums beginning with Bringing It All Back Home and finishing with Blonde On Blonde. When I went on business trips for the past two decades I almost always played the song after checking in to my hotel room… or at least once while away because it had that magical ability to make me feel at home when I was away.
I have written about the song several times on my blog (portions of it) and I like the way you say it produces different moods.
As for understanding it… my feeling is that the key is in the last verse, and that like some other songs Dylan produced that were surreal like this, it isn’t necessary to unlock every allusion.
Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed your take here.