Almost certainly, there is no such paper since that would be a trivial problem. The pole lying flat is the definition of failure, hence game over. If you started in that position, you would be permanently in the game-over state and you would never learn anything.
The reason is that if the pole is lying flat, then, if you apply a force on the cart (in the same direction as the pole is pointing, say), the pole head moves in exactly the same direction as the cart (i.e. the directional vectors of the cart and pole head movements are identical). Hence, the pole head never moves upwards.
In fact, I am fairly certain, that below certain angle with the surface, the pole can no longer be stabilized. This should be possible to prove from the dynamic equations governing the movement of the cart and the pole. This may not be easy, though, and definitely not easy for me (these are second-order differential equations). Anyway, with this in mind, you can see why one needs to start close enough to the stationary point for the problem to have a solution.
If the pole could go below the surface and swing, however, as here, it would be similar to the acrobot problem mentioned by Neil and you could start anywhere.