I'll grant the numbers do make it tough to follow in audio form.
If anyone has a good suggestion (past following along with the online post) to use in the future, I'm quite open to ideas...
I'm not sure if it was the numbers, or the lack of context. The style of the author seemed to be to introduce a concept, talk about it for a while, and then explain later in the story what the concept was (the 3x3, the Houses of --- ). Some of that can work quite well in a story, but in this one, I felt that there was too much of that happening at the beginning. I restarted the story once because I thought I must have not been paying enough attention and missed something.
And honestly, I'm not sure what you could do about it. I'd rather have this confusion than have an 'abridged for audio' version of the story. Maybe a mention in the intro that we shouldn't worry - that all the concepts do get explained, and to enjoy the lyrical style of the narrative.