I should have made the instructions clearer, but I chose experimentation and decided to see if people could pick up what to do just from a demonstration. And it worked! Except that the demonstration by itself offered no way for anyone in the audience to know that the definitions weren't supposed to be read.
I also felt that the way I was too imperious. Commands were an integral part of the last performance, but here such a style was superfluous. Maybe I didn't need to read over everyone's shoulder? I was just trying to make sure I knew when to take the notebook back and do the conclusion.
I'm not certain what I was doing with the opening monologue. Maybe that was unnecessary too. What I was going for was a fluxes-inspired music, the music of old English words, long forgotten -- in our practice earlier that morning, Haley said that the words we were working with sounded interesting. See, there's music in our lives every day.
The notebook is a found object in the stye of John Cage, because I rediscovered it after losing it for a few years. The words in it are also found objects, because I rediscovered them while looking for what was int he back. I forget why I added them in the first place.
As for the length, the piece went on so long because I had all the weird old words interspersed with more ordinary ones, and I wanted to include all my favorites and I couldn't alter the notebook or re-write it without changing its nature.
I think I need to plan my pieces better.